Monday, June 22, 2009

Business groups get behind national transportation strategy

Dear Business Alliance,

Transportation for Business (T4B) is circulating a sign-on letter for businesses to show their support for HR. 2724 and SB.1036 (attached). These bills seek to establish a unifying mission for the federal surface transportation program in the upcoming authorization by creating national goals and objectives in transportation funding. Please find the sign-on letter below.

If you are interested in signing on to the letter or would like to get more involved with T4B you can respond to me or contact Jennifer Henry at NRDC directly at jhenry@nrdc.org.

Explanation of T4B

T4B (Transportation for Business) is a coordinating and information-sharing network for forward-thinking business organizations and alliances, individual business and industry leaders, and companies that support smarter transportation policy—meaning legislation, investments, and programs that facilitate more efficient movement of goods and people, while reducing environmental and public health impacts. We are working together to build a national, unified business voice for this vision.

Improving transportation policy at the federal level is an important priority for NRDC, and this year is particularly critical since the surface transportation bill is up for reauthorization. As a result we are lending some staff support to help develop T4B, and more detail can be found at www.transportation4business.org. The basic idea is that it will serve to connect business voices that want to send a message about transportation policy to the audiences that most need to hear that message—and need to hear it particularly from the business community.”

Regards,

Yoav Hagler

Associate Planner, America 2050

Regional Plan Association

(917) 546-4314

United States House of Representatives

United States Senate

Washington, DC 20515

Dear Member of Congress,

The undersigned businesses and business associations write to request your support for HR. 2724, the National Transportation Objectives Act of 2009, introduced by Representatives Holt, Inslee, and Carnahan, and SB.1036, theFederal Transportation Policy and Planning Act of 2009, introduced by Senators Rockefeller and Lautenberg.

From a business perspective, this legislation is important because it articulates specific priorities as the basis for our transportation spending, and among those priorities are objectives that will address the current and future needs of our economy, enhance our energy security, and make the nation more economically competitive.

They include congestion reduction, maintaining our existing infrastructure in a state of good repair, and facilitating increased use of multiple modes of transportation. Meeting these objectives will enable faster, cheaper movement of supplies, products, services, customers, and employees—in other words, this bill will be good for businesses small and large, across sectors and across the country.

These companion bills establish a unifying mission for the federal surface transportation program and begin the process of setting needed and achievable performance targets. These targets should be effectively integrated into the federal transportation planning process as part of the next surface transportation reauthorization bill, to ensure that every federal dollar spent on transportation is well spent.

HR.2724 and SB.1036 are very similar in overarching purpose, and while the specifics differ slightly, we support the underlying principles and large areas of overlap, which include the following national transportation objectives:

  • Reduce per capita vehicle miles traveled.
  • Increase the ability for more destinations to be reached via walking, biking, public transportation, and intercity passenger rail.
  • Reduce transportation-generated carbon dioxide level by 40 percent.
  • Reduce congestion and delays per capita.
  • Increase proportion of freight transportation provided by railroad and intermodal services.
  • Improve public safety and lower congestion costs by reducing traffic crashes by 50 percent
  • Increase share of surface transportation assets in good state of repair condition.

America needs a new transportation future based on national priorities that enhances our economy, environment, and quality of life. We respectfully ask you to co-sponsor the National Transportation Objectives Act of 2009 or the Federal Transportation Policy and Planning Act of 2009.

Thank you,

[SIGNATORIES]

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