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Can Transportation Investments Get Our Economy Moving?

October 15, 2008

Minneapolis Mayor R.T. Rybak, Public Officials, and Transportation Experts Call on Next President and Congress to Move America Out of Economic Peril by Investing in Transportation

Contact: Katie Eukel, Transit for Livable Communities, 651-767-0298

On the eve of the final Presidential debate at Hofstra University, Minneapolis Mayor R.T. Rybak, public officials, and national transportation experts will call on the next President and Congress to move us out of economic peril by investing in a transportation system that creates jobs, saves Americans money, and reduces our oil dependence.

“Our presidential candidates have voted to bail out Wall Street, and it’s now time for both candidates and Congress to start talking about how they will invest in Main Street,” says Lea Schuster, Executive Director of Transit for Livable Communities. “America’s transportation system — the backbone of our economy for decades — is broken. Rather than increase our oil addiction and limit ourselves to building more roads and highways, let’s get our economy — and Americans — moving again by building a 21st Century transportation system.”

Transportation for America, a broad national coalition of housing, environmental, public health, urban planning, transportation and other organizations—including Transit for Livable Communities—released “Build for America” today. “Build for America” is a five point plan that calls on the next President and Congress to save Americans money, create jobs, improve our energy security, and revitalize our communities, and has gained the support of prominent officials including Mayor R.T. Rybak of Minneapolis, Governor Ed Rendell of Pennsylvania; Governor Tim Kaine of Virginia, and Former Governor Glendenning of Maryland.

The “Build for America” plan asks the presidential candidates and Congress to:

1)      BUILD TO COMPETE. We must catch and pass competitors in China and Europe, who are far ahead in building comprehensive, resilient and sustainable transportation systems.

2)      INVEST FOR A CLEAN, GREEN RECOVERY. A clean-energy future will require cleaner vehicles and new fuels, but it also must include support for the cleanest forms of transportation – public transit, walking and biking – and for energy-efficient, sustainable development.

3)      FIX IT FIRST. Before building new roads that will themselves have to be maintained, we should restore our crumbling highways, bridges, and transit systems and protect the investments we have made in existing communities.

4)      STOP WASTEFUL SPENDING. Let’s reevaluate the many transportation projects in the “pipeline” and eliminate those with little economic return.

5)      SAVE AMERICANS MONEY. Provide more travel options that are cheap and efficient so that Americans can spend their money and time in better, more productive ways.

“In previous recessions, Congress invested in infrastructure to spur economic recovery,” says R.T. Rybak, Mayor of Minneapolis. “There are strong links between a strong transportation system and a prosperous, sustainable economy, both locally and nationally. Our future prosperity demands this level of investment in our transportation infrastructure.”

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About Transportation for America Campaign

Transportation for America (T4) is a broad coalition of housing, environmental, public health, urban planning, transportation and other organizations focused on creating a 21st Century national transportation program. T4’s goal is to build a modernized infrastructure and healthy communities where people can live, work and play by aligning national, state, and local transportation policies with an array of issues like economic opportunity, climate change, energy security, health, housing and community development.

About Transit for Livable Communities

Transit for Livable Communities is a nonpartisan, non-profit organization working to reform Minnesota’s transportation system. Through advocacy, organizing, and research, Transit for Livable Communities promotes a balanced transportation system that encourages transit, walking, biking, and transit-oriented development.


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