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Sat May 15, 2021, 02:14 AM

Pete Buttigieg talks Florida's deadly roads and Biden's transportation plans

Pete Buttigieg talks Florida’s deadly roads and Biden’s transportation plans
The Tampa Bay Times spoke with the transportation secretary about high speed rail, pedestrian deaths and Republican criticisms of the proposal.

By Steve Contorno
Published Yesterday
Updated Yesterday

President Joe Biden has proposed a $2.5 trillion plan that his administration says would put tens of thousands of people to work rebuilding the country’s ailing infrastructure network and accelerating the fight against climate change. It also includes money to train workers and provide care for older and disabled Americans — investments that don’t meet the traditional definition of “infrastructure.” To pay for it, Biden would raise taxes on corporations.

The Tampa Bay Times recently spoke via Zoom with U.S. Department of Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg about the administration’s new proposal. The following is a transcript of the conversation, edited for clarity and brevity.

When President Barack Obama attempted to use the stimulus to push high speed rail, he was met with tremendous opposition and many of those new proposed lines were rejected — including in Florida. How did that experience affect the Biden administration’s approach in addressing transit in his jobs and infrastructure package?

We’ve got to prepare for the future in a long term and comprehensive way. So a lot of what was proposed in 2009 had enormous benefit for the long run, but it was really proposed as part of a short-term stimulus. The American Jobs Plan, on the other hand, is about making sure that the American economy is competitive for the rest of our lifetimes. There will certainly be a lot of what are called “shovel-ready projects” that can add to job creation as soon as the bill is enacted. But we’re also talking about really gearing up for a future in which all different forms of modes of travel need to be integrated in a better way than they are now.

More: https://www.tampabay.com/news/florida-politics/2021/05/13/pete-buttigieg-talks-floridas-deadly-roads-and-bidens-transportation-plans/

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