Transportation For America: Advocating for a new transportation future

Transportation is about so much more than infrastructure. It’s about your family and your quality of life. It’s about your money. It’s about your neighborhood and your town. It’s about your security, health and safety.As we’ve moved into the 21st Century, one size no longer fits all. As our country faces new challenges in this age, we need 21st Century solutions to face them head-on.Download this brochure, which describes who we are and what we believe. (pdf)

Our Reports, Research and Papers

Sorted chronologically, newest at the top. Note that our work on Dangerous by Design (pedestrian safety) and The Fix We’re in For (deficient bridges) can be found with our other interactive features.

A Guide to the 2012 Federal Transportation Law — And How to Use it for Positive Change in Your Community

After several years of delay and ten short-term extensions, in the summer of 2012 Congress finally enacted a surface transportation law known as Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century (MAP-21), providing federal funding through September 2014. In many ways, MAP-21 looks and feels the same as the previous transportation law, SAFETEA-LU. However, there are significant changes to many programs and the path to funding can be confusing.This free handbook attempts to explain the many changes — positive and negative — and outline how you can help get involved and urge your state to make sure that money reflects the priorities of local communities. (December 2012)Learn more and download a copy.

Thinking Outside the Farebox: Creative Approaches to Financing Transit Systems

The demand for public transportation service is at its highest point in 50 years with soaring ridership on existing transit routes. More communities of all sizes today are looking for funds to build and operate rail and bus lines than ever before. A combination of ideological gridlock in Congress, dwindling federal gas tax revenues, and the elimination of earmarks have made the traditional approaches to building transit much more challenging. Yet despite these obstacles, many communities are finding creative ways to move ahead.This free guidebook is designed to help community leaders get from Point A—the desire to meet the demand for transit—to Point B—raising the money needed to build and operate it. (August 2012)Learn more and download a copy.

Aging in Place, Stuck Without Options

By 2015, more than 15.5 million Americans 65 and older will live in communities where public transportation service is poor or non-existent. That number is expected to continue to grow rapidly as the baby boom generation “ages in place” in suburbs and exurbs with few mobility options for those who do not drive. Aging in Place, Stuck without Options ranks metro areas by the percentage of seniors with poor access to public transportation, now and in the coming years, and presents other data on aging and transportation, including maps of 14 metro areas showing future senior transit access.• Download the report and learn more.

The Most for Our Money: Taxpayer Friendly Solutions for the Nation’s Transportation Challenges

Transportation for America partnered with Taxpayers for Common Sense and the Reason Foundation — not a trio you’re accustomed to seeing — on a report detailing innovative and cost-effective transportation solutions with the potential to command broad support in a divided Congress. The Most for Our Money discusses seven approaches that would increase travel options, cut congestion and stretch every federal transportation dollar further so that our current system can be maintained. (May 2011)• Download the report (2.1mb pdf)
Read more about the report

The Fix We’re In For: The State of Our Nation’s Bridges (2011 edition)

Despite billions of dollars in federal, state and local funds directed toward the maintenance of existing bridges, 68,842 bridges — 11.5 percent of total highway bridges in the U.S. — are classified as “structurally deficient,” requiring significant maintenance, rehabilitation or replacement.Two key problems persist: while Congress has repeatedly declared bridge safety a national priority, existing federal programs don’t ensure that aging bridges actually get fixed; and the current level of investment is nowhere near what is needed to keep up with our rapidly growing backlog of aging bridges. (March 2011)Download the 2011 report. (Note, the newest version of this report is always available at

The Fix We’re In For: The State of Our Metro Bridges (2011 edition)

This reexamination of the 2011 bridge condition data looks at the problem just from a metropolitan perspective. Bridges in metro areas carry a disproportionate share of all trips on deficient bridges — the largest 102 metro areas carry 75 percent of all traffic crossing a deficient bridge each day. Pounded by heavy traffic day in and day out, the bridges in our metropolitan areas are indispensable links in the transportation system that takes millions of people to work and goods to market every day. And they threaten to become weak links, as they age and deteriorate in an era when public investment in infrastructure is shrinking in relative terms. (October 2011)Read this 2011 metro report. (Note, most recent bridge data is available at

Transportation 101: An Introduction to Federal Transportation Policy

Do you want to learn a little more about federal transportation policy, like the history of the program, how the Interstate System was started, how earmarks came to be so prevalent or how the federal role in funding transportation has changed throughout the years? With Congress considering the next six-year reauthorization, T4 America has put together this guidebook to provide some clarity on the history of the program, how it works (or doesn’t work) today and the new challenges facing us for the next 50 years.Read more about Transportation 101 (February 2011)• Executive Summary (900k pdf)
• Full Document (2.2 mb pdf)

Measuring Performance in the Federal Transportation Program

As the Congress prepares to write the surface transportation law, it is more important than ever that we set clear, accountable goals for spending billions in taxpayer funds on transportation. The right transportation policy can help make our nation’s economy more competitive globally, contribute to energy security, improve Americans’ health and quality of life, promote social equity, improve safety and save money. Current policy falls short because it holds no one accountable for delivering on a clearly articulated national vision with the money. What should our money accomplish?This paper offers a recommended suite of national goals and objectives and explains why we need a more accountable system, how a performance-based system would work and what “strategic planning” is and how it can help us meet these goals. (March 2011)Download this document (1.3 mb pdf)

Smart Mobility for a 21st Century America

This report demonstrates how existing and emerging technologies can squeeze more capacity from over-burdened highways, help commuters avoid traffic delays and expand and improve transportation options, all while saving money and creating jobs. “Smart Mobility for a 21st Century America” shows why improving efficiency through technology is critical as our population grows and ages, budgets tighten and consumer preferences shift.Download Smart Mobility for a 21st Century America (October 2010)

Future of Transportation National Poll (2010)

American voters overwhelmingly support broader access to public transportation and safe walking and biking, according to this new national poll conducted for Transportation for America.Visit for details on the poll and the results. (March 2010)

Stranded at the Station

Americans across the country, in towns large and small, are being hurt by fare increases and draconian cuts in public transportation service, an epidemic that did not have to happen, according to this joint report from Transportation for America and the Transportation Equity Network. Stranded at the Station: The Impact of the Financial Crisis in Public Transportationis the first systematic analysis of the conundrum faced by communities and their transit systems: Historic ridership and levels of demand for service, coupled with the worst funding crisis in decades. (August 2009)Read the report at

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