Southern California’s Irvine-based transportation advocacy coalition, Mobility 21, is in Washington, D.C. this week to champion key transportation bill negotiations and job creation with lawmakers.
The primary reason the coalition is in the capitol is because legislation to fund transportation projections across the country is long overdue. Traditionally, Congress passes a bill setting the country’s transportation and infrastructure priorities –– with funding disbursements –– every six years. The most recent of these bills expired on Sept. 30, 2009. In the interim, Congress has passed a series of extensions, but has yet to consider a complete bill.
“There’s no question that we need a robust federal transportation bill,” said Gary Toebben, president and CEO of the Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce and Mobility 21 chairman. “What we’re asking for is a multiyear bill to give transportation planners more certainty in funding future transportation projects, and that means job creation here at home. With the extension of the current bill expiring on March 31st, we can’t afford to put this off any longer.”
Passing a new transportation bill will create funding for transportation and infrastructure projects in Southern California and create thousands of local jobs, and millions more across the nation.
Mobility 21 representatives will be meeting with a number of lawmakers from California and other states, as well as Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood and other congressional members involved in the creation and passage of transportation legislation.
A key point that the representatives will be making is the importance of Southern California’s port systems and freight infrastructure to the nation’s economy.
“Nearly 40 percent of the nation's goods enter the Ports of Long Beach and Los Angeles. These goods travel on freeways and railroads through the Inland Empire and out to the rest of the nation, creating 3.4 million jobs nationally and $29.9 billion in tax revenue,” said Anne Mayer, executive director of the Riverside County Transportation Commission and Mobility 21’s vice chair. “We’re looking to Congress to invest in the national freight infrastructure assets here in Southern California.”
Mobility 21 is a transportation advocacy group comprised of representatives from a number of organizations within the transportation industry, both public and private, as well as business and infrastructure agencies. A few of these entities include the Port of Los Angeles, the Orange County Transportation Authority, the Transportation Corridor Agencies, the Southern California Regional Rail Authority (Metrolink), and the Orange County Business Council.
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