LINCOLN, Neb. – U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx was in Lincoln, Nebraska today to call on Congress to pass the GROW AMERICA Act, the Administration’s four-year, $302 billion proposal to invest in the nation’s transportation network and the American people who depend on it each day. Secretary Foxx made the call for action from the assembly floor of Kawasaki Motors Manufacturing Corp., U.S.A., which is building the next generation of transit and commuter rail cars. The GROW AMERICA Act would substantially increase funding for public transportation to boost work at plants like Kawasaki, while strengthening the existing Buy America laws to expand U.S. manufacturing opportunities across the entire domestic supply chain. Secretary Foxx was joined by Lincoln Mayor Chris Beutler and Kawasaki leadership.
“Our plan can easily be called the GROW Nebraska Act because when we make reliable, long-term transportation investments, we put the people of Lincoln to work and it’s their hands that are building safer, more reliable rail cars in New York and the nation’s capital,” said Secretary Foxx. “Sadly, when Congress fails to act, they create economic uncertainty for the millions of Americans who depend on a reliable transportation network to get to work, school, or a doctor appointment, but also at the kitchen tables of Lincoln families who need to know where and when the next vehicle order will come from to make ends meet.”
The Kawasaki facility in Lincoln employs approximately 1,600 people across the campus, where a dedicated force of 439 Nebraskans are building the next generation of metro rail cars for the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA) and New York’s Metropolitan Transportation Authority’s (MTA) Metro North Railroad. The WMATA Series 7000 rail cars will begin to replace the older Series 1000 rail cars recommended for removal from service by the National Transportation Safety Board following the Ft. Totten Red Line Crash in June 2009. The Federal Transit Administration provided more than $100 million for the purchase of the replacement vehicles.
Kawasaki is also nearing completion of the final two dozen M8 rail cars of a 366 vehicle order that will serve NY MTA’s Metro-North Railroad from Grand Central Station along the New Haven Line in Connecticut.
“We know that there is a critical need to invest in our aging infrastructure across all modes, including replacing older rail cars and buses in communities across the country,” said Acting Federal Transit Administrator Therese McMillan. “We’ve got a maintenance backlog surpassing $86 billion for public transportation alone, so we need to pass the GROW AMERICA Act to put a down payment on a more reliable transit network.”
The GROW AMERICA Act, the Administration’s surface transportation reauthorization proposal, a $302 billion, four-year transportation reauthorization proposal would provide increased and stable funding for the nation’s highways, bridges, transit and rail systems without contributing to the deficit. The GROW AMERICA Act also includes several critical program reforms to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of federal highway, rail and transit programs. Click here to learn more about the GROW AMERICA Act.
The GROW AMERICA Act will increase average transit spending by nearly 70 percent annually by investing $72 billion over four years into transit systems and expand transportation options for all Americans. The Act will enable the expansion of new projects, such as light rail, street cars, and bus rapid transit, in suburbs, fast-growing cities, small towns, and rural communities, while still investing in existing transit systems. Click here for highlights of GROW AMERICA’s investments in public transportation.