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21st Century Transportation
Efficient public transportation systems like intercity rail and clean bus systems would make America’s transportation future better for everyone by reducing traffic congestion and pollution and increasing our options for getting around.
Reforming our broken transportation system
In the 20th century, Americans fell in love with the car. Driving a car became a rite of passage. Owning a car became a symbol of American freedom and mobility. And so we invested in a network of interstate highways that facilitated travel and connected the nation.
Now we're in a new century, with new challenges and new transportation needs. We still love our cars, but they remind us of our dependence on foreign oil. Americans want choices for getting to work, school, shopping and more.
We need a transportation system that reflects and supports the way we want to travel now.
By reducing traffic and pollution and increasing our options for getting around, efficient public transportation systems like intercity rail and clean bus systems would make America’s transportation future better for everyone.
But America also needs to repair and maintain our current aging infrastructure. Nearly 70,000 of the nation’s bridges are classified as “structurally deficient.” Instead of building ever-wider roads that will only make America more dependent on oil, we need to be smart in how we invest in highways, and fix them first.
The good news is that the public is in many ways ahead of Congress in leading the way toward reform. Help us make sure government recognizes our need to invest in a 21st century transportation system.
Check out our video showcasing our work to bring about better transportation options for America's future.
From mask mandates to capacity limits, the largest public transit systems and ride share companies have new procedures
One-third of all Americans live in areas that suffered through at least 100 days of poor air quality due to air pollution in 2018, according to a new report by Environment America Research & Policy Center, Frontier Group and U.S. PIRG Education Fund.
People across America regularly breathe polluted air that increases their risk of premature death, and can also trigger asthma attacks and other adverse health impacts. In 2018, 108 million Americans lived in areas that experienced more than 100 days of degraded air quality. That is equal to more than three months of the year in which ground-level ozone (the main ingredient in smog) and/or particulate pollution was above the level that the EPA has determined presents “little to no risk.” These Americans live in 89 large and small urban areas,* and in 12 rural counties. Millions more Americans are exposed to damaging levels of air pollution, but less frequently. Policymakers can protect public health by strengthening air quality protections, reducing reliance on fossil fuels that contribute to air pollution, and cutting global warming pollution that will exacerbate future air quality problems.
Twelve states plus Washington, D.C. released new details today about a program to reduce global warming emissions from transportation. The Transportation and Climate Initiative will create an enforceable and mandatory limit on transportation pollution, and will generate funding that could be invested in cleaner alternatives.
Walkers and bikers are getting killed at alarming rates -- at a time when we need this type of transportation more than ever.
The House has passed a major appropriations bill that, if approved by the Senate, would help improve our country's climate trajectory. The legislation includes includes money for modernizing the U.S. electric grid and energy supply infrastructure as well as $19 billion for public transit and $1.4 billion for electric vehicle charging infrastructure.
Earlier this year, New Jersey seemed well on our way to fully electrifying thousands of transit buses. But NJ Transit has committed just $15 million toward purchasing electric buses through 2026 — which we believe is a significant underestimate of the funding needed to meet the Murphy administration’s goal of transitioning the agency's 3,000-plus bus fleet from dirty diesel to clean electricity by 2040.
Federal lawmakers have put forward the INVEST in America Act — a nearly $500 billion transportation spending bill which prioritizes repairing existing infrastructure over new highway projects, and contains key provisions for more sustainable investments.
In New Jersey, a cleaner and more efficient transportation system is on the horizon. On April 17, three state agencies jointly announced the final Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI) Strategic Funding Plan, which will allocate 75 percent of a total clean energy fund of more than $80 million to electrifying New Jersey’s transportation sector.
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