There are few – very few – issues with as much bipartisan support today as investing in our nation’s infrastructure. The American Bus Association (ABA) hears from its members all the time about challenging road conditions, like dodging potholes and sitting in traffic for hours. At the heart of it, infrastructure affects every member of ABA and is why the current discussions in Washington centering on infrastructure investment are so important to our industry. We all rely on it, and everyone knows we are long overdue to address our infrastructure needs.
Roads, bridges, rails, ports, airports, pipes, the power grid, broadband are all infrastructure. How efficiently we move and where we move affects our businesses, employees, and customers. Right now, the need to address our nation’s crumbling transportation infrastructure has taken on a whole new urgency. Increasingly, Americans are focusing on the need to support investment in our infrastructure, more than any other national issue.
This is why ABA is participating in Infrastructure Week 2017. We’re joining hundreds of organizations across the country this week, helping to raise awareness and educate on the importance of infrastructure investment. Every year America fails to adequately invest in our infrastructure, the United States becomes less competitive, our economy grows more slowly, and families and businesses lose valuable time and money. So what’s holding us up? In short, money. Current funding resources no longer keep pace with infrastructure investment needs, and the gap continues to widen. To address the infrastructure funding challenge, there are a number of legislative proposals currently circulating in Congress, ranging from increasing the gas tax, to more complex proposals establishing an entirely new tax structure.
The ABA supports increased investment in surface transportation infrastructure and is working with other stakeholders to find the path forward. But ABA also wants to promote smart decision-making in terms of infrastructure investment, pushing for equitable use of funds to promote interconnectivity between the modes, obtaining efficiencies through increased use of the private sector to meet public transportation needs, and putting the traveling public first in terms of reaching their destination in a safe and efficient manner.
To make this happen, ABA strongly encourages cooperation at all levels for the shared goal of developing an infrastructure package. The stakeholders are many, including Congress, the Administration, state, local and municipal partners, businesses, trade associations, but all are necessary to find innovative solutions to address our nation’s infrastructure needs. We need the commitment from leaders at every level, to build a long-term, sustainable infrastructure plan. Be assured, the ABA will continue to do our part, by working with all of our partners, both in and out of government, to ensure we achieve these goals.