August 23, 2019

Chair DeFazio Urges Reinvigorated Federal Role in Infrastructure Investment after New Report Shows Traffic Congestion Only Getting Worse Across the U.S.

Report: Congestion now costs the average commuter in the U.S. an estimated 54 hours and more than $1,000 each year


Chair DeFazio: This is “the result of trying to run a 21st century economy on a 1950s-era transportation system”


Washington, D.C. — Chair Peter DeFazio (D-OR) released the following statement in response to the release of the Texas A&M Transportation Institute’s 2019 Urban Mobility Report, which showed the number of hours commuters lost to traffic delays has climbed to 54 hours a year, at a cost of $1,010 per commuter. Nationwide, the cost of congestion is now $166 billion a year, while the amount of wasted fuel now amounts to 3.3 billion gallons.

“This report crystalizes what so many American families, students, workers, and businesses are already feeling every single day in our country – clogged highways, wasted time and money, and mounting frustration,” Chair DeFazio said. “That’s the result of trying to run a 21st century economy on a 1950s-era transportation system, which simply does not work. Reports like the 2019 Urban Mobility Report are exactly what we should expect after decades of underinvestment at the federal level and a lack of political will to even consider raising the federal gas tax for the first time since 1993, and why we’re left with highways, roads, bridges and transit systems that are inefficient, outdated, and in some spots, downright dangerous.

“So I’m calling yet again on President Trump and my colleagues in Congress to work together to figure out how to address hundreds of billions of dollars in stalled infrastructure projects, and to start re-imagining our transportation systems in order to meaningfully combat congestion, reduce emissions, and create more resilient infrastructure that will be around for the long haul. The cost of inaction is too great.”

You can read the full report from the Texas A&M Transportation Institute here.

The Subcommittee on Highways and Transit will hold a hearing next month on tolling and congestion pricing, including their impacts on congestion. Hearing information, including witnesses and a livestream, will be posted here as it becomes available.