Amazon com: Washington State Needs Transportation Boost
Amazon supportsThe trillion-dollar, bipartisan infrastructure proposal is making its way through Congress right now, as it will help modernize and decarbonize America’s transportation system and keep our country competitive. Now is the time for Washington State to advance those same goals and supplement federal funding through a statewide transportation investment program.
Further state investment in transport will help accelerate the region’s economic recovery. In fact, a to studyby the Washington Roundtable found that investments in transportation save businesses hundreds of millions of dollars per year in supply chain costs, increase productivity and enable mobility of goods and l expansion of ports, which helps companies increase their exports and jobs. A transportation package will help keep Washington competitive by funding badly needed infrastructure programs, projects and services that support affordable housing, better commutes and a better quality of life for all . Valuable public assets such as roads, bridges, ferries and buses will benefit from investments in maintenance and preservation.
The Fund is committing $ 300 million to create 3,000 new affordable housing units near public transit for families in the Puget Sound, Arlington and Nashville areas.
A broad coalition of local governments, unions, environmental groups and businesses, including Amazon, is supporting state investment in transportation to support the region’s economic development. Facebook, Google and Microsoft are expanding in the Eastside, and over the next few years Amazon will create 25,000 new jobs in the Bellevue area. We work in partnership with state and local governments to ensure that this growth is responsible, sustainable and positive for the entire community. We are building offices next to light rail stations, investing in electric delivery vans, home equity financing, providing free transit passes to our employees, and supporting options for commuters such as rapid bus transit, and bike and walking trails. And Amazon puts the skin in the game with a new investment of $ 7.5 millionto complete two key segments of the Eastrail project in Bellevue. But more public funds for transport are needed to reduce congestion, improve safety, create jobs and help fight climate change.
It’s not just roads and bridges that will benefit from a public transport package. Our endangered salmon will benefit from new culvert and stormwater projects. And we can take the next step of significant investments in clean transportation like electric vehicles, electric ferries and mass transit that particularly benefit low-income groups and communities of color that have been disproportionately affected by climate change.
Governor Jay Inslee, legislative leaders and the chairmen of the Senate and State House transport committees understand that a package is needed, and they have signaled their intention to call a special session in November. A federal infrastructure package would help alleviate some state budget pressures, but it would only complement and not replace a statewide package. However, parts of a set of states have the potential to receive matching funds from the federal government, further increasing the positive impacts. The economic benefits are clear; through improved infrastructure, Washington state can boost jobs and long-term economic development. Lawmakers should convene a special session during the November legislative committee days to get it across the finish line.