President Biden is poised to see his administration’s infrastructure bill come to fruition. Infrastructure has been a longstanding goal for past administrations. With Democrats in control of the House of Representatives, the Senate and the White House, it is believed that a bill is on the way.
American Public Transportation Association President and CEO Paul Skoutelas explained why the American Jobs Plan is needed, what he would like to see in it and more on America’s Work Force Union Podcast.
Funding the American Jobs Plan
One of the main arguments surrounding the American Jobs Plan is how it will be paid for. The current suggestion is an increase in the corporate tax rate. While this is widely supported by Democrats, it will be difficult to gain Republican support.
While the APTA does not hold a position on what funding plan is correct, they believe there are options. For example, raising the gas tax has long been a suggested way of funding infrastructure projects.
How does the American Jobs Plan affect public transportation?
Skoutelas gave three major angles the American Jobs Act is planned to take, all of which will greatly improve public transportation and infrastructure.
The first angle is the modernization of public transportation. Busses and bus stations are long overdue for an overhaul. Modernizing goes beyond building new structures, it includes modernizing the roads busses take in order to increase their lifespan.
Next, he said public transportation will need to be expanded. Amtrak service will need to be expanded in order to increase affordable travel between regional cities. Expansion also falls into the more micro view of a city, expanding service into underserved neighborhoods.
Finally, sustainability will be key. He said that some of the tracks currently being used are 100 years old or older. Additionally, sustainable infrastructure revolves around the environment. Current diesel busses and trains can be swapped for electric vehicles as the market becomes stronger and more competitive.