WASHINGTON, D.C. – The following statement was offered by Edward Wytkind, President of the Transportation Trades Department, AFL-CIO, anticipating a second stimulus bill to spur the nation’s economy:
“Economic stimulus spending on our nation’s aging transportation system is a win-win. Not only would it go a long way to spur our stumbling economy by creating and supporting thousands of good jobs, but it would make lasting improvements to a transportation network in ill-repair.
“Americans are suffering in a failing economy that is not producing good jobs. We urge the House and the Senate to include an infusion of transportation funding in any stimulus bill – the type of sensible, targeted investments that will put people to work.
“Public transportation authorities have documented more than 3,000 highway projects, worth $18 billion that could be started in 90 days. The mass transit industry has compiled a similar project list totaling over $3.6 billion in ready-to-go transit needs. Amtrak has years of backlogged maintenance, infrastructure and equipment upgrades, and bridge, tunnel and track repair projects that need to be addressed. This nation’s congested airports are ready to build new runways and add capacity to help avoid aviation traffic jams. The same is true of our country’s seaports, where additional capacity and infrastructure improvements are in dire need to keep commerce moving.
“There are billions of dollars required to address transportation needs. And for every billion dollars of federal spending in transportation and infrastructure, upwards of 35,000 good paying, family-supporting jobs are created.
“The Bush Administration has been the biggest stumbling block for investment in our country’s crumbling infrastructure. Congress must reject any Administration opposition and enact a real stimulus bill – one that invests in our transportation system and puts Americans to work. Just saying no is no longer an option.”
The Transportation Trades Department, AFL-CIO, represents 32 member unions in the aviation, rail, transit, trucking, highway, longshore, maritime and related industries. For more information, visit www.ttd.org.