U.S. Department of Transportation to get $128 billion budget for 2012

February 15th, 2011 - 5:19 am ICT by BNO News  

WASHINGTON D.C. (BNO NEWS) — The U.S. Department of Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood on Monday said that the department will get a $128 billion budget for 2012 for restoring the country’s economic competitiveness.

The budget is the first year of a comprehensive six-year transportation plan which will lay a new foundation for economic growth and competitiveness by rebuilding the U.S. transportation systems, enabling innovative solutions to transportation challenges and ensuring the highest level of safety for all citizens.

“President Obama’s budget for the Department of Transportation is a targeted investment in America’s economic success,” said Secretary LaHood. “If we’re going to win the future, we have to out-compete the rest of the world by moving people, goods, and information more quickly and reliably than ever before.”

The $128 billion investment will help rebuilding the U.S. roadways and runways as well as modernizing railways and bus systems. Transportation us very important for the future of the U.S. as the nation’s population is expected to grow from more than 300 million in 2010 to more than 400 million by 2050.

“The transportation investments proposed in President Obama’s budget will put Americans to work repairing the bridges and repaving the roads we have now, while supporting the development of the new electric buses and high-speed rail lines of America’s future,” added the Transportation Secretary.

The proposed budget also eliminated unnecessary programs and wasteful overlap in order to make it easier for communities to build the projects they need to spur economic growth.

Last week, Secretary LaHood and Vice President Joe Biden announced a budget of $8 billion for the first year of a six-year, $53 billion high-speed rail investment plan. The high-speed rail program is the main initiative proposed by the Obama Administration for modernizing America’s transportation network.

The $53 billion budget will place high-speed rail on equal footing with other transportation programs, revitalize domestic rail manufacturing, and ensure that the nation can reach Obama’s goal of providing 80 percent of Americans access to high-speed rail within 25 years.

In addition, the budget contemplates establishing, for the first time, a National Infrastructure Bank that will leverage private capital to build complex large-scale projects to a region or the country.

The FY 2012 budget also includes $1.2 billion to modernize America’s air-traffic control system and help airlines transition from the radar-based air traffic control system of the past to the Next Generation technology, a more reliable and more efficient satellite-based system.

The budget was also designed to maintain high safety standards for Americans traveling by any mode of transportation. In order to achieve that goal, the budget allocates $50 million for the ongoing campaign against distracted driving, as well as $35 million to promote seatbelt use and get drunk drivers off the road.

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