Financial relief has arrived for Americans and various infrastructure systems, such as the transportation industry that has taken a major hit since the beginning of the pandemic.
Just over a year since the pandemic began in the U.S., Jonna Huseman, Director of Communications for the Transportation Trades Department joined AWF Union Podcast to discuss the specifics in the American Rescue Plan as they relate to transportation, and the importance of infrastructure investment.
The American Rescue Plan and transportation
The American Rescue Plan includes specific provisions for much needed transportation funding. Huseman said the industry suffered an unprecedented year of low travel, putting many jobs at risk.
She said the American Rescue Plan provides over $30 billion in relief for transit systems and workers. Additionally, the bill includes tons of funding and other programming to fund Amtrack and support workers.
Another sector of the transportation industry devastated by the pandemic was the aviation industry. Huseman said $15 billion was provided to extend the airline payroll support program, which supports the workers affected by low travel. Additionally, $3 billion is provided to struggling aviation manufacturers.
Updating American infrastructure
Huseman called for updates to American infrastructure, which she said is crumbling and lagging behind other countries. She said it is beginning to cause states and cities to declare a state of emergency after bridge collapses and other incidents have taken lives and injured others.
However, infrastructure will need to gain funding legislatively. With politics as polarized as they are and Republicans voting entirely against many Democratic proposals, it will be tough to get the parties to work together.