Thursday, June 5, 2008

MoDOT Director Testifies to Congress on Looming Funding Crisis

The United States is at risk of falling behind other countries in transportation funding, meaning lost jobs and lost lives, Missouri Department of Transportation Director Pete Rahn warned federal lawmakers today. Testifying before a House Congressional committee, Rahn laid out the funding crisis, encouraging Congress to take action to dramatically improve the nation’s transportation system.

“We have grossly under funded both our state and federal transportation systems over the last three decades,” Rahn said. “If we continue this downward spiral, we risk losing our status as a global leader, as well as precious lives.

“To put it simply, we must pony up now to remain globally competitive or we will end up with a second-rate transportation system and a much less mobile society than we have today. China has seen the light and can be looked to as a model for investing in transportation. That country, adjusted for purchase power parity, invested $363 billion on highways alone in the last year. Compare that to the U.S., which at all levels spends annually $87 billion on highways and transit capital a year. India, according to a recent USA Today article, has tripled its infrastructure spending to $500 billion a year.”

Go to for the full text of news release and transcription of Pete Rahn's testimonial.