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Transportation Equity & Challenges

The focus on transportation equity aims to address the challenges faced by low-income and minority communities in accessing reliable transportation for daily activities such as work, school, and social events. The goal is to eliminate barriers and create more equitable transit networks through various strategies.

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Congress plays a crucial role in funding Federal Transit Administration (FTA) programs by enacting legislation that amends Chapter 53 of Title 49 of the U.S. Code. The recent Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, signed by President Biden on November 5, 2021, reauthorizes surface transportation programs for FY 2022-2026. This legislation allocates up to $108 billion to support federal public transportation programs, with $91 billion in guaranteed funding.


Transportation Challenges in the United States:

The U.S. faces numerous challenges in its transportation infrastructure. A White House Report highlights that 45% of Americans lack access to transit, leading to significant disparities in travel times. Transportation is a major contributor to greenhouse gas emissions, accounting for 27%, with transit being the second-highest contributor due to reliance on non-renewable energy sources. Additionally, transportation costs can be burdensome, with the average household spending approximately 13% or $9,000 annually on transportation.


Issues with Roads and Highways:

A substantial portion of U.S. roads, 32%, is in poor condition, costing commuters $67 billion annually. Traffic congestion further exacerbates the problem, causing wasted fuel costs of $101 billion. The Federal Highway Administration estimates an annual investment of $170 billion is needed, yet only $91 billion is currently allocated. Implementing technology in road infrastructure, as seen in California, can enhance communication with commuters and improve overall efficiency.


Concerns with Bridges:

The nation's bridges, numbering approximately 607,380, face challenges, with 61,064 being structurally deficient. These bridges, part of the Interstate Highway System, are traversed 215 million times daily. Aging infrastructure, coupled with inadequate funding for improvements, poses a significant risk to the overall integrity of the bridge network. Addressing these issues is crucial for maintaining a safe and efficient transportation system.

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