infrastructure investment in his State of the Union speech."
Melaniphy continued in a prepared statement, saying, "President Obama's call to undertake fix-it first projects for aging infrastructure, as well as invest in high-speed rail, underscores the critical importance of transportation. Clearly, transportation is the backbone of a thriving economy that is essential to ensuring that the United States is globally competitive.
"President Obama's emphasis on transportation infrastructure reminds us of the past infrastructure projects that made America great from New York City's Grand Central Terminal that is celebrating its 100th birthday this year, to the Transcontinental Railroad that was started under President Lincoln. This generation of Americans must take up the challenge to make sure that America continues to be the land of economic opportunity. Now is the time to look to the future, to ensure that America maintains its global competitiveness and its position as the country of economic opportunity.
"Public transportation has an important role to play in promoting a prosperous and growing economy. The public transportation industry is a $57-billion industry with nearly 400,000 employees. For every $1 billion invested in public transportation, 36,000 jobs are created and supported, not just at public transit systems, but also in businesses in the public transit supply sector. Additionally, not only does investment in public transportation create and support American jobs, it also provides access to jobs. Nearly 60 percent of the trips taken on public transportation are taken for work commutes.
"Additionally, President Obama also spoke of the need for the United States to become energy independent. Public transportation also helps in this endeavor as every year, U.S. public transportation saves 4.2 billion gallons of gasoline."
Melaniphy closed by saying APTA's 1,5000 members stand ready to work with the administration and Congress to increase economic opportunity and to help the nation's economy recover through transportation infrastructure investment.