Last updated: 10:32 AM ET, Fri October 23 2015

Travel Community Backs New Surface Transportation Bill

Impacting Travel | Donald Wood | October 23, 2015

Travel Community Backs New Surface Transportation Bill

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Travelers, rejoice! The roads you use to visit destinations across the United States could be getting a major facelift in the coming years.

On Tuesday, the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee approved the Surface Transportation Reauthorization and Reform Act of 2015, marking a huge first step in the renewed focus on updating the federal highway programs.

Anyone who has traveled within the United States can attest to the infrastructure challenges that have been presented to the highways and byways of this country. The approval on Tuesday is being seen by many in the travel industry as a move in the right direction toward passing a multi-year bill. U.S. Travel Association President and CEO Roger Dow released the following statement:

“The travel community is grateful to members of the House Transportation & Infrastructure Committee for approving today a surface transportation bill that is innovative and emphasizes return-on-investment. While the bill doesn't solve the problem of chronic underinvestment in our surface infrastructure, it does eliminate the uncertainty that had plagued the system and allow states and municipalities to move ahead with key projects.”

“Most notably, the bill includes language that encourages state departments of transportation to prioritize projects for maximum economic benefit by considering the most pressing needs of the travel and tourism sector. The base bill calls for consultation between transportation officials and travel and tourism officials, and the Titus-Webster-Huffman amendment added during markup will ensure that state and local governments develop transportation plans to enhance travel and tourism.”

“The travel community is grateful to Chairman Shuster, Ranking Member DeFazio, Subcommittee Chairman Graves, Ranking Member Norton, and Representatives Dina Titus, Daniel Webster, Jared Huffman, and Corrine Brown for supporting and prioritizing travel and tourism. Their combined efforts will maximize the bang states and municipalities enjoy for their transportation buck.”

The bill was presented to the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee by a bipartisan group led by Chairman Bill Shuster (R-PA) and Ranking Member Peter DeFazio’s (D-OR). 

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