My Commute Sucks - Learn More

Why is transportation such a pain?

What do you think about first when you wake up in the morning? Are you usually excited about getting up and heading out the door? Is it your job that makes you loathe the morning - or your commute?

Did you get up extra early today to try and beat the traffic or to get a seat on that always-packed train? Maybe you missed the bus and had to wait 45 minutes for the next one, or caught every light as you took one kid to daycare, another to school and ran three errands before you even started your commute. Isn't there anything we can do to make getting around less painful and more reliable?

Our congested roads have lanes added to them - yet promptly fill up again. More and more people are riding the train and bus, yet service is being cut. Biking has never been more popular, but it seems our streets have never been more difficult or dangerous to use.

Although most of the time we'd rather not think about it, transportation is an ever-present fact of our lives, and we pay good money for roads, public transportation, sidewalks and bridges. But who decides how it is spent, and what kind of job are they doing?

The government has been spending billions on transportation for years, yet it seems like things never get any better. Why?

Because there's been no accountability.
 

We can fix this.

It's not just a matter of money, but of spending it wisely. We're already paying a lot for transportation - just about every time we make a trip, we pay taxes and fees that go towards funding national transportation. But too often that money is spent on wasteful projects that serve political interests more than they help us get where we want to go.

We need to hold the federal government accountable for how they spend our transportation money.
 

Why now?

Now, it may seem like transportation isn't the most pressing issue facing our country. But many Americans spend 20% or more of their monthly income on transportation - cutting into their ability to afford housing, food, clothing, and other necessities.

More than that, every six years, Congress writes a transportation bill governing billions in transportation investments - and the new version, which could allocate nearly a half-trillion dollars, is being written right now. In years past, all that money has been distributed with very little accountability for what it should accomplish.

This year's bill represents a truly once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to make a down-payment on the kind of complete transportation system we deserve.

The transportation system our country invests in this year will define our nation for generations, just as the highway system we envisioned more than 60 years ago still defines us today.

If we continue with business as usual, there will be nothing in the legislation to ensure we're investing in the best projects - those that can build communities, make neighborhoods safer, and move people in the cleanest and most efficient ways.
 

Stop reading. Do something.

So between the time that a crumbling transportation system steals from you each day and the amount of your money - and time - that is wasted every year, don't you think it's worth a minute or two to tell Congress that you're tired of your lousy commute - and that they need to start doing a better job spending your money?

We sure think so. Click here to join us and take action today.

Commuting Facts

According to the most recent Texas Transportation Institute (TTI) report on congestion, public transportation saved travelers 541 million hours in travel time and 340 million gallons of fuel. (1)


Commutes in metropolitan regions that used to take 30 minutes now takes 44.4 minutes during the peak rush hour, a 167 percent increase since 1982. (2)


Americans took 10.3 billion trips on public transportation in 2007 – the highest ridership level in 50 years. (3)


17.2 million Americans telecommute at least one day per month, a 74% increase since 2005. (4)


Nearly half of all trips in the U.S. are three miles or less. (5)


Every second, America's transportation sector burns 6,300 gallons of oil, producing more CO2 emissions than the economy of any other nation in the world except China. (6)


10% of Americans have changed jobs to shorten their commute in response to higher gas prices. (7)


Transportation costs are second only to housing as a percentage of the household budget, with food a distant third. (8)


One in 10 of Americans (10.7%) regularly carpool to work. (9)


1. Urban Mobility Report, 2007
2. Regional Plan Association, “America 2050: A Prospectus,” New York: September 2006.
3. APTA
4. WorldatWork, “Telecommute Trendlines” 2009.
5. FHWA, 2006.
6. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, Climate Change 2007; Synthesis Report, November 2007.
7. Overberg and Copeland, 2007
8. Brookings Institution
9. US Census 2005