DRC, United States Chamber, & Small Businesses Intensify Push for Transportation Reform

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DETROIT, July 20, 2009 – As the expiration of funding for the nation’s surface transportation programs approaches, the United States Chamber of Commerce led more than 100 business leaders, association executives, the Detroit Regional Chamber and other local chambers of commerce members from 28 states to Capitol Hill for a “Transportation is Your Business” fly-in. They delivered a message to Congress that investment in our highways, bridges, and public transportation systems must not be delayed.

“The Congress and Administration need to make America’s crumbling transportation infrastructure a priority,” said Thomas J. Donohue, president and CEO of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. “If done right, comprehensive highway and public transportation will create jobs, speed commerce, enhance safety, and better serve the American people.”

Transportation infrastructure is more vital than ever to the success of U.S. industries. Adequate transportation infrastructure capacity and cost-effective transportation services are essential to improving economic growth, increasing productivity, and maintaining the competitiveness of American businesses. Further, by creating jobs across construction, engineering, resources, and manufacturing sectors, transportation investment serves as an important economic driver.

As the gateway to the Great Lakes supply chain and the trade routes through eastern Canada, the Detroit Region is a vital connection point in national transportation and logistics. The border between Detroit and Windsor needs another crossing to strengthen the economies of the U.S. and Canada and the development of a double-stack rail tunnel to handle trade out of Montreal. Further, this region needs enhancement of the Detroit Intermodal Freight Terminal and another intermodal rail to truck facilities to efficiently process and distribute that trade.

“Ignoring the needs of the transportation system will delay economic recovery. Transportation is crucial for industry, new business development and individuals seeking employment in the Detroit Region,” said Melissa Roy, senior director of government relations, Detroit Regional Chamber.

Citizens and visitors of the Detroit Region have been historically underserved when it comes to transit options. An integrated regional system that can take workers to and from jobs, residents and visitors to and from the airport and connect the rail system between Chicago and Toronto is needed.

The lobbying blitz included more than 100 executives from Alabama, Arizona, California, Connecticut, DC, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, North Carolina, Nebraska, New York, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia, and Washington, who met with their Senators and Representatives to press for reform of federal policies in SAFETEA-LU reauthorization.

About the Detroit Regional Chamber
With over 20,000 members, that employ over three quarters of a million workers, the Detroit Regional Chamber is the largest chamber of commerce in the country. The chamber’s mission is carried out through business attraction efforts, advocacy, strategic partnerships and valuable benefits to members. For more information please visit, detroitchamber.com.

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