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Business Leaders Emphasize Economic Potential of a Renewed Vision for the Nation’s Transportation Program

Transportation for America and representatives from Major Corporations and Business Groups Call on Congress for Investments in Public Transportation, Rail and Intelligent Transportation Systems in long-term transportation bill

Business and transportation industry leaders today joined Transportation for America for a briefing on Capitol Hill to underscore the potential of a reformed, multi-year transportation bill to boost the economy and create lasting jobs across the country.

Business leaders from Siemens, IBM and the Silicon Valley Leadership Group, which represents more than 300 major companies in the Silicon Valley including Yahoo!, Microsoft and AT&T, highlighted the power of new and innovative policies to revolutionize the transportation sector, make our country more economically competitive for the 21st century and provide working Americans the affordable options they need to get to their jobs every day.

“Our annual CEO survey identified traffic congestion as one of the top concerns for businesses in the Silicon Valley,” said Carl Guardino, President and CEO of the Silicon Valley Leadership Group. “Public transportation is a lifeline for our nation’s workforce. Allowing the cuts to service we have seen around the country to continue will only worsen congestion for commuters and increase the challenge of attracting the talent that our cutting-edge businesses depend on.”

The panelists highlighted the need for major reform to our national transportation system and investments in smart technologies that will make our country a leader in innovation. Whether in reducing congestion, improving road safety or increasing service and efficiency in public transportation networks, these investments can help communities solve problems and create jobs.

“Siemens is optimistic that the combination of political will, public interest, and unprecedented funding will lead to an integrated and comprehensive transportation system throughout the U.S.,” said Diederick Van Dillen, Mid Atlantic Regional Manager for the Siemens Corporation. “The movement of people and goods is what keeps cities and regions competitive, and less time spent in traffic leads to enhanced quality of life for Americans.”

Our current transportation program is based largely on policies enacted in the 1950’s. These policies helped our nation successfully build a world class highway system that now connects communities across the country. The next federal transportation bill offers a chance to stand on the shoulders of that success and focus our transportation program on using smarter approaches to solve the problems of the 21st century.

“IBM is committed to working with all stake holders in the broad transportation ecosystem – policy makers, transportation operators, agencies and academics – to make new innovations and technology a reality for smart transportation systems and to better serve society’s needs in the 21st century,” said Mike Kearney, Business Development Executive, IBM Research Division.

“Across the country major employers are working hard to support investments in public transportation because they know it is essential to reducing congestion, and creating efficiency in the movement of people and goods and most importantly to reduce our dependence on oil by giving people options other than driving everywhere,” said Tom Murphy, Former Mayor of Pittsburgh and a Senior Fellow at the Urban Land Institute. “Whether it is local chambers of commerce or companies like Google, and Yahoo!, businesses on the cutting edge of the new economy are telling us that the next transportation bill must remove the impediments at the federal level that suppress and slow down investment in public transit and safe, complete streets.”

“We have an unprecedented opportunity to build for the future and create communities that will thrive for generations to come,” said James Corless, director of Transportation for America. “We must embrace the power of innovation in our transportation program and seize this chance to grow our economy, create jobs and wean our nation off dangerous sources of oil. Only a truly reformed long-term transportation program will allow us to seize this moment. We cannot allow it to slip away.”

Transportation for America will continue to work with business leaders around the country as the transportation authorization bill makes its way through Congress.