Melaniphy praises President Obama for transportation investment focus

A day after President Obama’s State of the Union address, American Public Transportation Association President and CEO Michael Melaniphy applauded the President for what he called his “focus on investment in our nation’s transportation infrastructure.”

Michael Melaniphy

In a written statement, Melaniphy wrote: “On behalf of the American Public Transportation Association (APTA) and its 1500 members across the country, I applaud President Obama for his focus on investment in our nation’s transportation infrastructure, including public transportation, as a way to fulfill the President’s goal of “building an America to last.”

We applaud the President for including job creation through infrastructure investment in his agenda; let’s not lose sight of the fact that one of the most effective jobs bills would be to pass a multi-year fully funded transportation bill.

As the nation continues down the path to economic recovery, public transportation offers solid, proven solutions. For every $1 billion invested, more than 36,000 much-needed jobs are created, resulting in nearly $500 million in federal, state, and local tax revenues. For every $1 invested in public transportation, $4 is generated in economic returns. Further, public transportation investments help support hundreds of manufacturers around the country, the same ones that the President highlighted for driving economic growth and creating jobs.

We look forward to working with the President and his Administration on initiatives to bolster American manufacturing; incentives for clean energy alternatives such as natural gas; regulatory reform to reduce the red tape that inhibits infrastructure investment; and workforce development ideas, especially with veterans and engineers, to support our industry’s future labor needs.

APTA and its members will continue to work closely with the Administration and Congress to address the pressing issue of transportation reauthorization to ensure public transit is fully supported and funded. Passing federal legislation in 2012 must be the number one priority for Congress. Short-term extensions are stifling our industry, both in the public and private sectors, and they are not a sustainable solution. We need to plan for the future in order to maintain and expand public transportation in the years to come.

Now is the time for real solutions to the problems facing our country. When it comes to creating jobs and fostering economic growth, public transportation has the answers.”