Transportation Grants Show Efficient Ideas Exist, Emphasize Need For Reform

WASHINGTON (February 17, 2010) – Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood announced today the 51 recipients that will share the $1.5 billion Transportation Investments Generating Economic Recovery (TIGER) grants that Congress created last year.

Following is a statement from Colin Peppard, deputy director of federal transportation policy at the Natural Resources Defense Council:

“This is an impressive list of projects that will change how residents in these areas use transportation. These are just 51 selected out of more than 1,400 that applied. The TIGER program shows that there are hundreds of innovative transportation projects across the country that will put Americans to work, cut oil use and reduce global warming pollution at the same time.

“Keep in mind, though, that these projects could never be funded through our current federal transportation program, which does not encourage innovation and often penalizes efficiency.  The list of successful TIGER projects clearly shows the need to reform outmoded transportation laws. Such high-quality transportation projects should be the rule, rather than the exception.

“Maybe if our transportation program funded these types of innovative solutions rather than pork-barrel politics and bridges to nowhere, taxpayers would feel more confident about increasing investment to address our crumbling infrastructure.”