Transportation & Infrastructure
In order to have safe, livable communities, we must invest in our nation’s infrastructure. We rely on highways, bridge and public transit for transportation, dams and levees for flood protection, and waste treatment for safe drinking water and trash removal. Unfortunately, according to the Army Corps of Engineer’s latest Report Card for America’s Infrastructure, America’s overall infrastructure grade is a dismal D+. Of particular concern are our failing levees (D-), roads (D), and transit (D).
Residents of the Bay Area are directly impacted by infrastructure problems. Traffic congestion costs the Bay Area $3.3 billion per year, or an average of $1,266 per person. That is why Congresswoman Speier has been a staunch advocate for smart investment in infrastructure, including public transit, seismic retrofits of bridges, schools and hospitals, and travel capacity improvements, including:
· The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) provided $5 million to Caltrans to install ramp metering for improved traffic flow at entrances to Highway 280
· MUNI received $108 million under ARRA to upgrade light rail vehicles, provide preventive maintenance, rehabilitate buses, and for a number of other system improvements to meet the ongoing needs of San Francisco’s population.
· San Francisco International Airport received more than $30 million for runway upgrades and improvements, and will be spending over $4 billion through 2023 in federal and airport funds to create better terminals, a new air traffic control tower and other improvements.
· Caltrain electrification—which will create a level of service similar in frequency and comfort to a city subway—has received $1.5 billion from federal, state and local sources.
Congresswoman Speier has also been a strong support of improved transportation security. In response to the Asiana Airlines Flight 214 crash at San Francisco Airport in 2013, she authored an amendment to require the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to study and determine whether existing commercial aircraft should be required to install low-airspeed voice warning systems. She also aided BART’s effort to secure $12.8 million in Homeland Security funds to protect the Transbay Tube, one of BART’s most critical assets.
Transportation and environmental health are inextricably linked. According to a 2007 Bay Area Air Quality Board study, transportation is the largest single source of carbon emissions in the Bay Area. To fight climate change and urban pollution, Congresswoman Speier supported the EPA’s recent Tier 3 ruling, which will reduce tailpipe and evaporative emissions from passenger cars, light-duty trucks, medium-duty passenger vehicles, and some heavy-duty vehicles. She also supports continued investment in San Francisco’s public transit systems, including buses, rail, and ferries.