The not-yet-in-power Obama Administration is showing that it has a strong interest in averting the increasing problems for the nation’s transportation funding. Today on the Change.gov blog (the official website of the Administration-in-waiting), there was a further emphasis on the President-elect’s committment to taking advantage of the economic crisis to sponsor vast increases in infrastructure funding. The blog specifically quotes three individuals who have ideas for how to use the economic stimulus money, and all three point to infrastructure spending as being a necessary and major component. Most importantly, the blog post includes the comments of a man from Staten Island who mentions the Metropolitan Transportation Authority’s plan to increase fares by 23% even as it decreases services on New York City’s buses and trains.
Though this is simply a blog post, the fact that the administration was willing to include this specific mention of one city’s economic problems points to the fact that there is an interest in propping up transit agencies that are facing extreme financial problems because of dramatically decreasing tax revenues. This is a good pointer from the next administration and indicates it will be prioritizing transit.
This comes on the same day that the Washington Post reports that the Obama stimulus plan may reach up to $700 billion – far higher than we expected, and again, good news for those of us who think it’s time to rebuild our nation’s infrastructure.