Washington, D.C. - Global competitiveness and economic and job growth are all severely imperiled by the United States' collapsing transportation infrastructure, overwhelming numbers of business leaders say in a survey conducted by Building America's Future and the U.S. Travel Association.
The full findings of the survey were released at a press conference featuring Building America's Future's co-chairs, former Pennsylvania Governor Ed Rendell and Former U.S. Department of Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood, and U.S. Travel Association President and CEO Roger Dow.
The survey—conducted among members of the U.S. Travel Association—found that more than three-quarters of travel industry leaders say the current state of our transportation infrastructure puts the U.S. at a competitive disadvantage compared to other countries. More tan a quarter of survey respondents call it a "strong disadvantage."
"It is imperative that Congress takes action to fix America's crumbling bridges and potholed roads so that the United States can once again be economically competitive on a global scale. Six of the world's busiest ports are now in China—and none are here in the U.S. America invented aviation, and now the U.S. ranks 18th in the world behind such countries as Barbados and Panama in the industry. It's shameful, and must be remedied," said LaHood.
"From this new survey, 90 percent believe that if Congress fails to pass a new transportation bill that it would 'very likely' or 'somewhat likely' have an impact on their business or destination in the form of increased travel hassles, lost business and lost revenue. In a time where the United States' economy is just getting back on track, we cannot afford additional roadblocks to economic said Rendell.
"President Obama is speaking today on the economic benefits of boosting travel to and within the United States. He's absolutely right about that, but unfortunately our infrastructure is struggling to handle the travel demand we already have," said Dow. "Within a decade, most of our top 50 airports will experience Thanksgiving-like passenger congestion every week. Labor Day traffic levels will soon be a regular reality on our busiest highways. If we're going to fully capture the economic potential of travel, we must address our infrastructure, and do it now."
Other key findings from the survey:
The results of this survey come at a critical time for infrastructure and transportation funding in the United States. The Highway Trust Fund is projected to go bankrupt in early August, which will cause thousands of new or ongoing transportation and infrastructure projects to be canceled or put on indefinite hold. Halting such critical projects would cost nearly 600,000 American jobs and negatively impact tens of thousands of businesses that regularly depend upon the projects that Trust Fund investments make possible.
The U.S. Travel Association is the national, non-profit organization representing all components of the travel industry that generates $2.1 trillion in economic output and supports 14.9 million jobs. U.S. Travel's mission is to increase travel to and within the United States.
Visit www.ustravel.org .