How does ASCE define transportation?
Transportation refers to the movement of people and goods on a built network made up of aviation infrastructure, bridges, ports, inland waterways, rail, roads, 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
- PS149 - Intermodal transportation systems
- PS218 - Improvement and maintenance of ports harbors and waterways
- PS445 - Aviation transportation program
- PS494 - Public transportation
- PS382 - Transportation funding
- PS496 - Innovative financing for transportation projects
- PS454 - Intelligent transportation systems
- PS521 - Rail infrastructure investment
- 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) of 2021, 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 is needed to provide a multi-year reauthorization of the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) programs. The FAA's current authorization is funded through December 31 by a stopgap measure Congress passed September 30. While the House of Representatives has passed their FAA reauthorization bill, known as the Securing Growth and Robust Leadership in American Aviation Act, the Senate has yet to advance their FAA Reauthorization Act of 2023 out of committee. ASCE urges the Senate to pass their bill so they can negotiate a final bill with the House.
ASCE advocacy highlights
- August 9, 2023 - ASCE comment to Department of Transportation on Advanced Research Projects Agency-Infrastructure (ARPA-I)
- June 2023 - ASCE memo on the House and Senate FAA reauthorization bills
- March 28, 2023 - ASCE statement for the record to House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure Subcommittee on Highways and Transit on IIJA implementation review hearing
- March 17, 2023 - ASCE comment to the Federal Highway Administration on roadway safety and design standards
- July 19, 2022 - ASCE’s recommendations for effective implementation of the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act
ASCE staff contact: Eleanor Lamb - Senior Manager, Government Relations