Friday, September 11, 2015

Transportation Secretary pitches rural transit during closing session of National Rural Assembly

Anthony Foxx
Rural areas need more options for public transit, Secretary of Transportation Anthony Foxx said during a speech Thursday at the National Rural Assembly in Washington, D.C., Tim Marema reports for the Daily Yonder. Foxx said, "One of the myths I’m trying to dispel is that transit is an urban phenomenon and that all rural communities care about is roads. I’ve seen too much to believe that. I’ve heard from rural people who have said, ‘I’d still be unemployed if I didn’t have a van or bus to get to my new job.’ Or ‘I have an older person I couldn’t get to the doctor or the clinic if it weren’t for transit.'”

Foxx, who urged poeple to speak up about the vitality of transit in rural areas, said, “We as a nation—we cannot afford to have our rural communities disconnected because the fiber of this country is knitted together by every single place. Every community matters. . . . Transportation is something that we do together. I’ve never seen a ‘single-person’ road before. I’ve never seen a ‘Democrat-or-Republican’ road, a rural-or-suburban-or-urban road."

Foxx also discussed the difficulty in rural road repair projects, Marema writes. He said "rural areas—like the rest of the nation—face a backlog in basic repairs and maintenance to infrastructure like roads and bridges," Marema writes. "But DOT grants for local improvements can be a big problem for smaller communities because of 'match.' DOT grant programs like TIGER require local government to match federal dollars with their own spending. Small and poor communities can suffer, as a result, Foxx said. (Read more)

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