On behalf of the Transportation Trades Department, AFL-CIO (TTD), I write in support of the economic stimulus package (H.R. 7110) expected to be considered today on the House floor and specifically the transportation infrastructure provisions that are included in this legislation.
TTD and our affiliated unions have long argued that any comprehensive stimulus package must include a robust transportation infrastructure component that puts people to work, enhances the efficient movement of goods and people, and begins to address the needs of our transportation network. While H.R. 7110 is not a substitute for a long-term funding solution, it does address a number of immediate needs, and includes a proven formula to stimulate our economy by creating and sustaining thousands of jobs at a time when workers across the nation are hurting. We know that for every billion dollars spent on transportation infrastructure, almost 30,000 good paying jobs are created.
Specifically, this bill would provide $12.8 billion for our nationâ€™s aging highways and bridges to improve safety and mobility. It would allocate $3.6 billion for transit agencies to purchase buses and equipment needed to expand public transportation and $1 billion to meet growing demands on transit agencies due to higher gas prices and increased demand. Amtrak would receive $500 million to make immediate upgrades to tracks and stations and to allow the railroad to respond to record rider ship levels. Finally, the legislation will provide $600 million for airport improvement projects to enhance safety and reduce delays that inevitably occur in our aviation system.
Again, these funds will go to immediate use, on urgently needed projects, that will put people to work and support the good jobs that already exist in the transportation industry. As Congress considers the Administrationâ€™s request to spend several hundred billion dollars on a financial rescue package for Wall Street, we must not lose sight of the fact that ordinary Americans are in need of help as well. Targeted investments in our transportation network, like those included in H.R. 7110, will help meet this objective. For these reasons I urge you to support H.R. 7110.