Stop is Part of Colorado Infrastructure Tour Highlighting Critical Need to Maintain Infrastructure and Build New Projects
Comes in Wake of Congressional Inaction on Long-Term Solution for Highway Trust Fund
During a ride on Fort Collins’ MAX Bus Rapid Transit along the Mason Corridor, Colorado U.S. Senator Michael Bennet heard from local leaders about how transit service is boosting economic development. The MAX bus serves major community and employment centers throughout the community, including Midtown, Colorado State University, and Downtown Fort Collins.
The stop is part of Bennet’s Infrastructure Colorado: Planes, Trains, Automobiles, and More tour to highlight Colorado infrastructure projects and call attention to the critical consequences of Congressional failure to develop a long-term solution to our infrastructure needs, threatening our economy, competiveness, and safety.
“Folks in Fort Collins recognize how improving connectivity throughout their communities with reliable transit service like the MAX bus rapid transit is a boon for the local economy,” Bennet said. “It gives people a simpler way to get to work or appointments and to enjoy this vibrant community. This is yet another perfect example in Colorado of why Congress needs to find a long-term solution to fund the infrastructure we need to support future growth.”
Last week, Congress passed another short-term fix – this time for the Highway Trust Fund – which jeopardizes vital, large-scale highway and transit projects and leaves state and federal transportation departments unable to plan for the long-term. Projects similar to Fort Collins’ MAX Bus Rapid Transit could be put on hold without a long-term solution to maintain the solvency of the Highway Trust Fund.
Despite Colorado’s successes, there is still work to do. Seventy percent of the state’s roads are rated poor or mediocre according to the American Society of Civil Engineers’ 2013 Infrastructure Report Card. Without a predicable federal highway plan, maintenance and upgrades of these roads will be jeopardized.
Bennet has fought to strengthen the nation’s infrastructure. Earlier this year, he sponsored the Partnership to Build America Act, with Republican Senator Roy Blunt from Missouri. The Bennet-Blunt proposal establishes a $50 billion infrastructure fund that can potentially support hundreds of billions in loan guarantees and financing authority for state and local governments. While not a replacement for keeping the Highway Trust Fund solvent, the fund created by the bill would help finance transportation, energy, communications, water, and education infrastructure projects.