US Congress Proposes America's Transportation Infrastructure Act of 2019
August 05, 2019

Pete Goldin

America's Transportation Infrastructure Act of 2019, a major surface transportation reauthorization bill, was introduced to the US Senate by Senator John Barrasso (R-WY) and Senator Tom Carper (D-DE), making a $287 billion investment in upgrading America’s roads, highways and bridges.

The bill increases funding for the Technology and Innovation Deployment Program, including $100 million in new and innovative construction technologies for smarter, accelerated project delivery.

“America’s Transportation Infrastructure Act will help make real the vision of a safer, more connected, efficient and climate-friendly transportation system, one that will endure the test of time and keep up with the evolving demands of the world’s biggest economy," said Carper, on the Senate floor.

“With respect to safety, too many pedestrians and bicyclists put their lives at risk every day when they use our roadways. In 2017, there were more than 37,000 fatalities on our nation’s roadways, including approximately 7,000 non-motorized users. 37,000 fatalities! ... After trending down for many years, in the last decade pedestrian deaths have increased sharply and are now at a 25-year high. In tribal communities, that fatality rate is even higher. That’s just unacceptable!" he continued. “Our legislation addresses this carnage by investing $2.5 billion in federal funds per year in safety improvements and by compelling states and cities with very high rates of pedestrian and bicyclist fatalities to do their share, as well."

"Our biggest challenge in transportation continues to be reducing fatalities on U.S. roadways," stated ITS America President & CEO Shailen Bhatt. "This bill creates a new program to expand investment in safety programs, including critical vehicle-to-infrastructure (V2I) technology, which protects vulnerable roadway users by helping drivers avoid crashes."

The bill also includes the first-ever title on climate change – which if enacted would lower transportation emissions and help US infrastructure withstand the impacts of extreme weather.

"ITS America is encouraged by the creation of a new alternative fuel vehicle program that will reduce greenhouse gases; a congestion relief program that provides funding for mobility on demand; a cybersecurity provision to safeguard critical infrastructure; and a new grant program to ensure our infrastructure can withstand the destructive effects of climate change, extreme weather and natural disasters," Bhatt added.

"The 20th century was about moving cars," Bhatt concluded. "ATIA will help create the smart infrastructure we need to support our technology-driven 21st century economy, which is all about moving people, data and freight. We appreciate the committee’s leadership in moving this reauthorization bill and look forward to working with the other relevant committees as the process continues."