How does ASCE define transportation?
Transportation refers to the movement of people and goods on a built network made up of aviation, bridge, port, rail, road, and transit facilities. These assets form vital lifelines, allowing people to travel to work, school, and healthcare services and helping goods reach commercial hubs.
Related ASCE policy statements
- PS218 – Improvement and maintenance of ports harbors and waterways
- PS445 – Aviation transportation program
- PS299 – Infrastructure investment
- PS494 – Public transportation
- PS382 – Transportation funding
- PS496 – Innovative financing for transportation projects
- PS402 – High-speed and intercity passenger rail
- PS521 – Rail infrastructure investment
Talking points in layman's terms
- Considering the many modes transportation encompasses, these systems face a diverse set of needs and reflected a wide range of grades on the 2021 Report Card for America’s Infrastructure. Earning a B, rail was the highest-scoring category, while transit received the poorest grade, a 'D-'.
- Funding remains an important need for transportation infrastructure. While some Report Card categories, such as rail and ports, have benefitted from private investment, others are in significant need of investment from both the government and the private sector. For example, there is a $786 billion backlog of road and bridge capital needs and a $176 billion transit backlog.
- Transportation received an infusion of funds with the bipartisan Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA), which ASCE strongly supported. While the $1.2 trillion provided by the IIJA is a significant down payment on the infrastructure investment gap of $2.5 trillion over 10 years that ASCE identified, additional investment is needed to bring the transportation system back to a state of good repair.
- Congressional action will be needed for the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) reauthorization. The current FAA reauthorization is set to expire on September 30, 2023, meaning the 118th Congress will need to pass a reauthorization to keep programs funded. There is a shared consensus to move a bill next year, with many seeing an FAA reauthorization as a must-pass measure. However, in the past, FAA programs had to endure several short-term extensions prior to being reauthorized.
ASCE advocacy highlights
- March 16, 2022 – Statement for the Record to Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs on Transit Hearing
- June 8, 2022 – Statement for the Record to House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure Subcommittee on Highways and Transit on Roadway Safety Hearing
- July 19, 2022 – ASCE’s Recommendations for Effective Implementation of the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act
- September 16, 2022 – ASCE comment to the Federal Railroad Administration on the Interstate Rail Compacts Grant Program
- September 28, 2022 – Statement for the Record to House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure on Investing in Infrastructure and Worker
ASCE staff contact: Eleanor Lamb - Senior Manager, Government Relations