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Today the Arizona PIRG Education Fund released its new report, A Better Way to Go: Meeting America’s 21st Century Transportation Challenges with Modern Public Transit, which examines the challenges faced by America’s transportation system and the benefits of existing public transit projects in Arizona and across the country.
“America can do better than a transportation system that reinforces our dependence on foreign oil, imposes significant damage on public health and the environment, and increasingly fails to do what it was built to do: move Americans quickly, efficiently and safely from place to place,” stated Diane E. Brown, Executive Director of the Arizona PIRG Education Fund.
According to the report, the number of miles driven on America’s highways has doubled in the last quarter-century and reliance on cars for transportation is at the root of many of America’s most intractable problems including oil dependence, traffic congestion and global warming. The report also cites economic, environmental and public health problems associated with our current transportation system.
The Arizona PIRG Education Fund’s report documents how public transit in America saves 3.4 billion gallons of oil each year, prevents 541 million hours of traffic delay and reduces global warming pollution by 26 million tons. In addition, the report highlights a range of other benefits including opportunities for economic development, mobility for those without access to cars, public health benefits and reduced household expenditures on vehicles and fuel.
In order to realize a new transportation future for the 21stst century transportation system. century with clean, efficient public transit at its core, the Arizona PIRG Education Fund states that America needs to make transit a national priority, articulate a roadmap, and commit the resources necessary to build a 21
The group pointed to national demand for public transportation, with transit trips far outpacing the growth of auto miles or population since 1995. National public opinion polls demonstrate that 53 percent of commuters would prefer to use more public transportation if it were available near their home and workplace. An overwhelming majority of the public, seventy-five percent, tell pollsters that transit is the best way to fight traffic congestion.
Brown concluded, “America wants and needs a transportation system that can meet the needs of the 21st century. By investing in clean, modern transit, we can address some of America’s most pressing challenges and improve our economy, our environment and our quality of life.”
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