America runs on…. transportation infrastructure

On Thursday the U.S. House and Senate passed a 5-year $305 Billion transportation bill, the Fixing America’s Surface Transportation (or “FAST’” Act), and on Friday the President signed it.

December 7, 2015

Congress acts. Legislators—and stakeholders— come together to start repairing America.

By Zoe Lipman, Senior Policy Advisor at the BlueGreen Alliance.

Diagram from Denver Regional Transportation District shows where parts came from for their RTD Rail System.

Diagram from Denver Regional Transportation District shows where parts came from for their RTD Rail System.

On Thursday the U.S. House and Senate passed a 5-year $305 Billion transportation bill, the Fixing America’s Surface Transportation (or “FAST’” Act), and on Friday the President signed it. After more than a decade of short-term extensions that hobbled desperately needed forward-looking investment, legislators came together to agree on a long-term bill that makes possible the city, state, multi-state, multi-modal investments on which the health of the economy depends.

Kudos to the lawmakers who put American communities, workers and businesses ahead of partisan grandstanding, to the cities and states who led by example over the past decade, and to the many transportation advocates (including a number of the BlueGreen Alliances’s labor and environmental partners) who sweated the details that go into crafting (and negotiating) a policy agreement.

Several of our partners and key transportation advocates have more detailed overviews of the bill and lay out a variety of strengths and weaknesses (See here what the Amalgamated Transit Union (ATU), NRDC, Transportation for America, and Transportation Trades Department, AFL-CIO, (TTD) had to say, amongst others). But several features jump out as key steps down the path of repairing America’s infrastructure and economy: