MTC Chair Urges Passage of Huge Infrastructure Bill
Metropolitan Transportation Commission (MTC) Chair Scott Haggerty today commended the U.S. House of Representative’s infrastructure bill — the $1.5 trillion “Moving Forward Act” (H.R. 2) — which is on the House floor for consideration this week, with voting expected as early as today or Thursday.
The bill includes a five-year, nearly $500 billion transportation reauthorization known as the INVEST in America Act that would bring billions of dollars to Bay Area cities, counties and transit operators to expand the Bay Area transportation network, repair aging roadways and transit systems, reduce greenhouse gas emissions and harness the region’s tech leadership to improve mobility nationwide. Other elements of the Moving Forward package include a $100 billion investment in affordable housing; $130 billion for schools; a $25 billion revolving fund to ensure communities have safe drinking water; $100 billion to deliver affordable high-speed Internet access across the country; a $70 billion commitment to modernize America’s power grid; $30 billion to upgrade hospitals and increase hospital capacity; and an expansion of local government financing tools to support community development and investment in economically distressed neighborhoods.
“It’s critical that this bill be passed,” said Haggerty, an Alameda County supervisor who has served as an MTC Commissioner since 2000 and has been its chair since February 2019. “We appreciate Congressional leadership for stepping up with a bold plan to build infrastructure, generate jobs, strengthen our communities and improve our environment.”
The INVEST in America portion of the Moving Forward Act would increase surface transportation investment by about 60 percent above current spending levels, with much of the new funding to transit and metropolitan-focused programs, both of which are long-standing MTC priorities. The INVEST in America Act also would weave climate change and resiliency into the core federal transportation program and advance national goals for safety, economic growth, and congestion relief while preserving the flexibility for the Bay Area and other metro areas to tailor investment decisions to meet their unique mobility challenges. Importantly, it also would provide states, local governments and transit agencies with much-needed COVID-19 emergency aid.
“This bill shows the way to transform our dark present to a bright future,” continued Haggerty. “It’s exactly the kind of broad stimulus that’s the right treatment at the right time for the economic ills caused by COVID-19, and should attract strong support from both sides of the aisle.”
MTC is the transportation planning, financing and coordinating agency for the nine-county San Francisco Bay Area.