LaHood discusses transit projects, American jobs at Railvolution

Ray LaHood speaking at Rail-Volution. (Photo: Alex Goldschmidt)

U.S. Department of Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood has been busy lately advocating for American jobs through transportation investment.

Earlier this week, Secretary LaHood was in Detroit to announce $928.5 million in federal investment to help fund more than 300 public transportation projects in urban, suburban, and rural areas throughout the U.S.

“Investing in America’s transit systems, rails, roads, ports, and airports will generate tens of thousands of construction-related jobs and put more money in the pockets of working Americans,” said Secretary Ray LaHood. “But we must do more. Congress needs to pass the American Jobs Act so we can continue to invest in critically needed projects like these, to repair and rebuild our nation’s transportation system.”

Yesterday, at the annual Rail-Volution conference in Washington D.C., Secretary LaHood continued to push for Congress to pass President Obama’s American Jobs Act as a way to increased investment in our transit systems and create jobs.

“We want American jobs building American infrastructure,” Sec. LaHood told those gathered at the annual conference that discusses building livable communities with transit. “It’s a no-brainer…We need Congress to pass a jobs bill.”

Investment in public transportation is a smart investment of taxpayer dollars and a known job creator. As Smart Growth America found in an analysis of the 2009 American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, investment in public transportation is a more effective job creator than investing in highways. In fact, public transportation projects create 70% more job hours per dollar than highway projects.

Secretary LaHood understands the job-creating potential of investments in public transportation projects, and the American Jobs Act would invest $50 billion in transportation infrastructure improvements. Of that, $9 billion will go to repair transit systems and $2 billion will go improve intercity passenger rail.

Investments in existing transportation infrastructure and public transportation – which the American Jobs Act and the DOT’s recent funds both support – can create jobs now and save money in the long run. As the Obama Administration works with Congress to create new jobs in America, we hope to see transportation projects like those described by Secretary LaHood included in their work.