September 27, 2011

TTI Report: Cost of Congestion More Than $100 Billion

– Report Highlights Need for Congress to Pass Robust Surface Transportation Bill –

Washington, D.C. – The Texas Transportation Institute (TTI) today released its annual Urban Mobility Report, finding that the cost of congestion continues to cost the United States over $100 billion annually.  U.S. Representative Nick J. Rahall (D-WV), top Democrat on the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, said the report highlighted the need for Congress to pass a robust surface transportation bill that invests in our future by creating jobs and rebuilding America.

“The cost of congestion continues to cripple our Nation’s economic competitiveness and productivity, causing companies and consumers to needlessly lose billions of dollars stuck in traffic each year,” said Rahall.  “The TTI report confirms that our Nation’s arteries of commerce remain clogged with congestion, making it more difficult for American businesses to compete in the global economic market.”

The report found that the cost of congestion is more than $100 billion or nearly $750 for every commuter in the U.S.  The researchers estimate that after our economy recovers from the recession, the average commuter is estimated to see an additional 3 hours of delay by 2015 and 7 hours by 2020. By 2015, the cost of congestion is estimated to rise from $101 billion to $133 billion – more than $900 for every commuter.  In addition, the amount of wasted fuel will jump from 1.9 billion gallons to 2.5 billion gallons – enough to fill more than 275,000 gasoline tanker trucks.

“Congestion is not merely a matter of inconvenience – congestion results in billions of hours wasted, billions of gallons of fuel needlessly spent, and billions of dollars down the drain for families and businesses,” said Rahall.  “This report is further evidence that Congress must reject Republican efforts to slash transportation investment and get to work crafting a surface transportation bill that is large enough in size and scope to put Americans back to work and tackle the backlog of transportation needs in this country.”

Last week, CEOs of 20 major corporations called on Congress to pass a robust surface transportation bill, emphasizing that infrastructure investments are necessary to keep our Nation competitive with the rest of the world and to ensure long-term economic growth.  The U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the AFL-CIO have echoed these sentiments jointly on multiple occasions this year. 

“Business leaders from industries across the spectrum all agree that Congress must pass a strong multi-year surface transportation bill that adequately invests in America’s future,” said Rahall.  “Even the Executive Chairman of Internet giant Google, Eric Schmidt, whose high-tech product is anchored in cyberspace’s superhighway, understands the pillars of our economic base are grounded in our traditional transportation systems of steel, concrete, and asphalt.”