FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 9, 2015
Contact: Laura McMillan, 203-787-0646 ext. 137
MURPHY, ESTY, MALLOY, WYMAN, REDEKER, AND ADVOCATES STAND UP FOR TRANSPORTATION
National Stand Up 4 Transportation Day asks feds for multi-year transportation funding bill
Hartford, Conn.—This morning, Senator Chris Murphy, Congresswoman Elizabeth Esty, Governor Dannel P. Malloy, Lieutenant Governor Nancy Wyman, and Connecticut Department of Transportation Commissioner Jim Redeker joined transportation advocates and representatives of other elected officials at Hartford’s Union Station in support of multi-year federal transportation funding legislation. The event can be viewed on CT-N.
The event, organized by Connecticut Association for Community Transportation (CACT), Connecticut Construction Industries Association (CCIA), Connecticut Fund for the Environment (CFE), and the Transit for Connecticut Coalition, was part of Stand Up 4 Transportation. The national day of action saw rallies in over 140 municipalities nationwide.
Federal spending is a crucial component of the funding mix that supports transportation capital improvements, maintenance, and operating expenses. The nation’s current transportation funding bill, known as MAP-21, is due to expire at the end of May. The advocates noted that uncertainty about long-term funding could delay transportation projects in Connecticut and across the country, putting the economy, the environment, and public safety at risk.
“We’re currently facing a transportation crisis that will only get worse if we don’t take bold action,” said Senator Chris Murphy. “Connecticut commuters need assurance that the trains, tracks, roads, and bridges they ride on everyday are safe, but for too long, Congress has shied away from taking serious action to update our country’s aging infrastructure. The bottom line is that investments in Connecticut’s transportation network will save lives and create local jobs, and as a member of the Senate Transportation Appropriations Subcommittee, I will keep on fighting until we can finally secure the long-term funding we need to rebuild and repair Connecticut’s infrastructure.”
“As I travel across central and northwest Connecticut talking to manufacturers and small business owners, the number one complaint I hear is our crumbling infrastructure and congested roads. We need to get serious about rebuilding our highways and bridges and expanding public transportation, which will put people back to work now and create a foundation for sustainable economic growth in the future,” said Congresswoman Elizabeth Esty (CT-5). “As a Member of the U.S. House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure, I’m fighting for predictable funding and a long-term transportation bill because it’s the right investment for our state and our country. I’m proud to stand side-by-side with partners on the federal, state, and local level to call on Congress to act now to rebuild America’s infrastructure, fund the Highway Trust Fund before it expires on May 31, and stop putting local jobs at risk.”
“We are launching a transformative transportation plan that will create jobs, improve quality of life, and make Connecticut an even greater place to live and work. Our vision makes smart choices today for a brighter state tomorrow—because we deserve a system that is best-in-class,” Governor Malloy said. “While we work closely with our federal partners, we cannot move forward if politics in Washington takes us backwards. We rely on the federal government for a steady, predictable funding stream, and we need to ensure Connecticut has the resources it needs to deliver the kind of results our residents deserve.”
“A modern, connected transportation system isn’t a partisan issue, it’s imperative to a strong economy and efficient commerce,” said Lt. Governor Wyman. “Connecticut has made sound investments in transportation and transit oriented development—and residents expect Washington to support our commitment to reduce highway gridlock; improve air and water quality; and move people and goods more efficiently. Consistent, stable federal funding is important to establishing a long-term partnership with Washington.”
“At CTDOT, we are carrying out Governor Malloy’s vision using creative and proven innovations to transform Connecticut’s transportation infrastructure into an integrated and multimodal network that will lead the nation,” said CTDOT Commissioner James Redeker. “This will require the support of our partners in the private sector and at all levels of government. Together, I look forward to continuing our work to deliver a 21st Century system that will best serve the residents of this state and allow Connecticut to compete for generations to come.”
In Connecticut, urgent funding needs include returning Metro-North to a state of good repair, maintaining roads and bridges, expanding rail and bus service, and improving bicycle and pedestrian infrastructure. Governor Malloy’s recently-founded transportation funding panel is innovative and the Let’s Go CT! transportation vision aims high. Funding support from federal sources will help make that vision a reality, said CACT, CCIA, CFE, and the Transit for Connecticut Coalition. Passage of a multi-year, fully-funded federal surface transportation bill is crucial to the future of Connecticut’s transportation network.
More information about National Stand Up 4 Transportation Day may be found at www.standup4transportation.org.
Additional photos, courtesy of Greater Bridgeport Area Transit, may be seen on Google Plus.