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New DOT Report Describes Transit Benefits of ARRA

A new DOT report estimates that the 2009 American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA or Recovery Act) infused roughly $48.1 billion in investments in transportation infrastructure, helping to facilitate a “historic ­economic turnaround.”

The report, Shovel Worthy: The Lasting Impacts of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act on America’s Transportation Infrastructure, was introduced by Vice President Joe Biden with an opening letter addressed to President Barack Obama.Because of the Recovery Act,

Biden’s letter stated, “Americans were put back to work and our transportation system—from roads and bridges to high-speed rail—received a significant down payment in every state in the country.”

He also called the act the largest ­public works project since the Eisenhower Interstate Highway System and said its long-term objective was “to build a 21st Century economy and transportation system.”

The report noted the Recovery Act’s several “tangible, visible and transformative” benefits, including:

* Transit investments to construct or rehabilitate 850 new facilities and provide nearly 12,000 new buses and 700 new railcars; and

* the TIGER grant program, which the report credited with successfully supporting several innovative projects across the country.

“The initial $1.5 billion TIGER grant program kicked off this successful program with over 60 competitively selected projects across the country,” the report stated. “Throughout its eight-year history, TIGER has not only renewed federal investment in critical infrastructure—putting $5.1 billion into 421 projects—it has reenergized communities across the country by sparking local and private investments in our transportation network.”

Find the report here.
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