President Biden’s infrastructure plan proposes $85 billion for American transit system

President Biden announced the details of his American Jobs Plan for revitalizing America’s infrastructure today in Pittsburgh.

A summary of the plan can be found on the White House website. The plan would provide $85 billion to modernize transit systems and $115 billion to modernize bridges, highways, roads and local roads. From the plan:

Fix highways, rebuild bridges, upgrade ports, airports and transit systems. The President’s plan will modernize 20,000 miles of highways, roads, and main streets. It will fix the ten most economically significant bridges in the country in need of reconstruction. It also will repair the worst 10,000 smaller bridges, providing critical linkages to communities. And it will replace thousands of buses and rail cars, repair hundreds of stations, renew airports, and expand transit and rail into new communities.

The President’s plan would also boost broadband access and fund workforce development programs – among many other policy priorities.

It is also worth noting that the the American Jobs Plan would span eight-plus years, which is consistent with Metro’s Rebuilding America initiative that calls for a long-term transportation funding plan. A long-term federal funding plan would provide more certainty moving forward for Metro and other transportation entities across the United States.

Metro staff will be carefully reviewing the American Jobs Plan to fully analyze the impact it would have on our agency if it were adopted into federal law.

Attentive Source readers know that transportation funding at all levels of government is complex — and can be a sticky wicket, so to speak. In the past couple of decades, the federal transpo bills have tended to be short-term, making it hard for agencies across the U.S. to enact long-term plans.

Metro is in a bit of a different situation because voters in L.A. Country have approved four half-cent sales taxes to fund the agency since 1980. That means that Metro is often in a very good position to compete for federal funds because we have local funds to match (which is a big criteria). For example, Metro secured more than $3 billion in federal New Starts grants to help pay for the Purple (D Line) Extension and $670 million for the Regional Connector.

Stay tuned on President Biden’s plan. It’s generating a lot of news – as was expected. Here’s coverage in the Washington Post, the New York Times and the L.A. Times.

4 replies

  1. Now if the MTA would only use professional rail builders instead of contractors that specialize in government projects that result in spending more since it is a government project and spaced out in order to keep that contractors employees constantly working on often worthless projects. It might be noted that Henry Huntington’s Pacific Electric built the original Long Beach line in six months as opposed to the LACTC project over the same right of way taking three years. And the P.E. was using permeative equipment by todays standards including horses to deliver and construct the line.

    • Let’s be real… The permit process, labor laws and environmental review that exist today means one cannot compare a construction project of 100 years ago to a current one.

      • And ole HH didn’t have the signal system, crossing guards, fencing or other safety measures in place among other things that make the modern light rail better. The modern rail system has tracks that are laid are smoother and straighter and remain so for longer than the old ones.