U.S. Airports, Railroads prep for influx of US$1 trillion

The Biden administration has secured its first big non-pandemic legislative win following the passage of its bipartisan infrastructure bill which is currently valued at a total US$1 trillion.

“We did something that’s long overdue, that long has been talked about in Washington but never actually been done,” President Joe Biden said on November 6, the day after the House of Representatives passed the deal, which is officially referred to as the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act during a late night marathon session.

But now that the bill has been passed — following a significant hurdles posed by political tussles in Washington, D.C. — comes the challenge of proper disbursement of the funds.

The bill promises a significant improvement to the transportation system in the United States. About US$110 billion out of this facility has been earmarked for roads and bridges, while transit systems will get almost US$90 billion during a period of five years or more. The long underfunded passenger rail system gets $66 billion, while airports get another US$25 billion.

“The historic levels of travel infrastructure investment provided by this act — including for airports, railways, highways, electric vehicle charging infrastructure and more — will accelerate the future of travel mobility,” said U.S. Travel Association CEO Roger Dow. He also indicated that now that the office of the Chief Travel and Tourism Officer has been created at the U.S. Department of Transportation, it will make for better coordination of travel and tourism policy across the various modes of transport.

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