DOT Moving Quickly to Use Transportation Funding for Economic Recovery, Transportation Secretary LaHood Says
The U.S. Department of Transportation is keeping its promise to use its economic recovery funding to invest in the nation’s transportation system and create jobs, U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood said today.
In remarks to the National League of Cities in Washington, Secretary LaHood told the gathering of urban officials that the Department has moved quickly to release funds to state offices and transit agencies.
“In a very short time, your cities will be humming with construction workers, engineers, maintenance crews and many others,” Secretary LaHood said. “You’ll see roads repaved, interchanges improved, bus and rail systems repaired, upgraded, and expanded.
“This effort not only puts people to work -- it gets people to work in a way that moves us towards our long-term goals of energy security and more livable communities,” he added.
In addition to funding currently being allocated, there soon will be additional opportunities to compete for discretionary funds for transportation projects, he said. A team of senior officials across the Department – the Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery (TIGER) team – is tracking every dollar spent in order to ensure accountability and transparency, he added.
LaHood added that the new authorization bill for highway and transit programs, soon be taken up by Congress, will help keep people employed and transportation healthy after recovery funds are spent. He said the Obama administration will work closely with Congress to enact a bill that will focus on making communities more livable and sustainable. The new authorization also must address the need to look beyond the Highway Trust Fund and find new ways to finance surface transportation programs, such as a National Infrastructure Bank, public-private partnerships and tolling on newly built highways.