TDA Executive Director Debby Jackson issued the following statement:
It is early, and the projections will change as time brings things into focus. TDA is closely monitoring the potential transportation revenue lost due to COVID-19.
“Wisconsin finally passed a transportation budget last summer that slows the decline of system conditions. This was an essential first step toward a longer-term solution for Wisconsin transportation funding. It would be a shame for conditions to resume their decades-long downward trajectory because of the pandemic.
“Wisconsin airports and public transportation systems received federal assistance in the CARES Act. TDA supports a similar revenue backstop for state DOTs to avoid disruptions to operations and the possible delay or cancellation of transportation plans and projects. Given the historically low level of bonding in the current budget, low interest rates, and the severity of the current economic situation – including double-digit unemployment – a moderate increase to bonding should be considered to cover a temporary dip in state revenue. And, of course, TDA and its members continue to work with WisDOT on ways to streamline processes and utilize scarce dollars more efficiently.
“Transportation infrastructure is vital to Wisconsin’s economy, which has as a foundation agriculture, tourism, and manufacturing. Transportation investment not only sustains and creates good-paying construction and industry jobs now, but system improvements enhance economic competitiveness and development for decades by providing safe, efficient access to jobs, services, materials, and markets. Infrastructure investment will be crucial as we support Wisconsin businesses with their recovery.”
From the buses in Racine to the Port of Green Bay to the rail lines in Superior to the Waukesha County Airport to the roads we use every day, Wisconsin’s transportation network is the key to connecting goods to market and people to jobs. Founded in 1971, the Transportation Development Association of Wisconsin promotes the vitality and safety of the state’s transportation system, including public transit systems, public-use airports, railroads, commercial ports, and roads. TDA’s members include businesses, labor unions, citizen groups, units of government, and individuals.
Contact us at: www.tdawisconsin.org and Twitter handle @TDAWisconsin