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21st Century Transportation
Efficient public transportation systems like intercity rail and clean bus systems would make America’s transportation future better for everyone by reducing traffic congestion and pollution and increasing our options for getting around.
Reforming our broken transportation system
In the 20th century, Americans fell in love with the car. Driving a car became a rite of passage. Owning a car became a symbol of American freedom and mobility. And so we invested in a network of interstate highways that facilitated travel and connected the nation.
Now we're in a new century, with new challenges and new transportation needs. We still love our cars, but they remind us of our dependence on foreign oil. Americans want choices for getting to work, school, shopping and more.
We need a transportation system that reflects and supports the way we want to travel now.
By reducing traffic and pollution and increasing our options for getting around, efficient public transportation systems like intercity rail and clean bus systems would make America’s transportation future better for everyone.
But America also needs to repair and maintain our current aging infrastructure. Nearly 70,000 of the nation’s bridges are classified as “structurally deficient.” Instead of building ever-wider roads that will only make America more dependent on oil, we need to be smart in how we invest in highways, and fix them first.
The good news is that the public is in many ways ahead of Congress in leading the way toward reform. Help us make sure government recognizes our need to invest in a 21st century transportation system.
Check out our video showcasing our work to bring about better transportation options for America's future.
The Maryland Board of Public Works (BPW) voted (2-1) on Wednesday to move forward Gov. Larry Hogan’s proposed I-270 and I-495 toll lane widening project.
A bipartisan group of senators met Tuesday afternoon to prepare for a vote planned Wednesday on a $1.2 trillion Bipartisan Infrastructure Framework that aims to boost federal investment in U.S. infrastructure, including billions for roads, clean water and power infrastructure, according to media reports.
Maryland is moving forward with a proposed highway expansion project after a disappointing vote from the Board of Public Works, a project that Maryland PIRG has advocated against. Expanding the highway, which research shows will likely exacerbate traffic congestion rather than alleviate it, will harm the environment and public health.
Maryland PIRG and Environment Maryland have sent a letter to Gov. Larry Hogan and other state leaders in opposition to proposed cuts to transit funding. Thirty-six percent of those who are continuing to ride public transit during the pandemic are classified as essential workers — and long-term trends show demand for accessible transit steadily increasing.
Transportation is the single largest source of carbon emissions in the U.S.—but Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, Virginia and Washington, D.C., just released a plan to change that, called the Transportation Climate Initiative.
Transportation | U.S. PIRG
Seventeen pedestrians and two cyclists were killed every day, on average, in traffic crashes in 2018. PIRG Transform Transportation Campaign Director Matt Casale explains that cyclists face a dilemma: walking or biking are convenient and pollution-free modes of transportation, but they're also dangerous in a world that's been built car-first.
Tools & Resources
HB 1185: Maryland Transit Administration- Annual Efficiency and Performance Standards
Our Changing Relationship with Driving and the Implications for America's FutureMaryland PIRG Foundation
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