Obama pledges a $50 billion transportation spend
Obama pledges a $50 billion transportation spend Sep 2010
Shani Wallis, TunnelTalk
At a Labor Day rally America's industrial heartland, Milwaukee, Wisconsinlast Monday (6 September), President Obama announced a $50 billion spending plan for America's transportation infrastructure. The message delivered at a Laborfest in America's industrial heartland, Milwaukee, Wisconsin is designed to create new jobs, stabilize the President's support among working class Democrats, ahead of November's mid-term elections, and address an shortfall in infrastructure investment over many decades.
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Obama delivers the message in Milwaukee

The $50 billion plan is to be spent over the next six years and is targeted at rebuilding the nation's aging highway, rail and airport infrastructure and includes funding for new high-speed rail projects in the country, which the President said should be integrated with an improved surface transportation system.
This is the second time President Obama has spoken specifically of high-speed rail in a major speech. In April last year (2009), $8 billion of his Administration's Recovery and Reinvestment Act was allocated specifically to jump-start America's belated investment in high-speed rail.
In Millwaukee last Monday, the President said that through the next six years, "we are going to rebuild 150,000 miles of our roads, lay and maintain 4,000 miles of railways and restore 150 miles of runways." His plan also calls for the creation of a permanent infrastructure bank to "leverage federal dollars and focus on the smartest investments." As well as continuing the strategy of building a national high-speed rail network, the bank will consolidate more than 100 different programs and "change the way Washington spends your tax dollars."
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The President connects with supporters

In a public statement of support, William Millar, President of the American Public Transportation Association (APTA) , said: "This authorization legislation cannot happen fast enough. It will put Americans back to work to build and maintain our country's woefully underfunded transportation infrastructure." He added, "the President's vision of a world class infrastructure system and his call to enact a new, six-year transit and highway authorization bill which expands public transit systems, dedicates significant new funds to the New Starts program, and commits to building on the previously announced investments in high-speed and intercity passenger rail. The proposed up-front investment of $50 billion will jumpstart job creation and is a good first step toward addressing our country's high unemployment. For every $1 billion invested in US public transportation, 36,000 jobs are supported and created. The introduction of high-speed rail is creating a new industry of jobs for America's workers.
Providing a much-divided Congress in Washington agrees the substantial addition to the federal spending budget, on top of the previous stimulus packages and other expensive federal programs adopted by the Obama administration, officials said the plan could begin creating jobs as early as next year.
President Obama's vision for high speed rail - TunnelTalk, Dec 2009
Nod to infrastructure in Obama's billions in bail out - TunnelTalk, Feb 2009
US transit opportunities and challenges - TunnelTalk, Feb 2009
US states compete for high speed rail funding - TunnelTalk, Dec 2009
Comment: Our silver lining? - TunnelTalk, Jan 2009
2009 in retrospect - TunnelTalk, Dec 2009
Industry strong, but can it last? - TunnelTalk, Feb 2010
The American Public Transportation Association (APTA)
US Department of Transportation – Federal Transit Administration (FTA)

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