By ADEPT Strategy & Public Relations - February 9, 2022
In November of 2021, President Biden signed The Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA) into law, which provides for massive investment in modernizing America's infrastructure, including roads, bridges, public transit, airports, seaports, broadband, and water/wastewater infrastructure across the United States.
Simply put, the passage of the IIJA is long overdue. For many years, U.S. infrastructure has consistently received a poor grade, with the American Society of Civil Engineers most recently giving our country's infrastructure an overall grade of C-minus.
Specifically, the IIJA sets aside $39.2 billion dollars for improving public transit systems. But what does that mean for the Sunshine State, and South Florida in particular? What should South Florida expect to receive from IIJA to improve and expand options for public transportation? Read on for a brief overview of the current state of play.
The Good News
First, regarding South Florida, it's important to remember that both Broward County and Miami-Dade County benefit from having a local transportation surtax. In addition to the funding this surtax generates within their jurisdictions, Broward and Miami-Dade can also use surtax funds to leverage additional federal dollars for important transportation projects. This ability to leverage federal funding was in place prior to the IIJA, but the IIJA includes major increases in federal funds to be leveraged.
Notably, according to Senator Steve Geller, who currently serves as a Broward County Commissioner and held the title of County Mayor from November 2020-November 2021, some of Broward County's major infrastructure priorities include improvements to various bridges and roads and expansion of electric buses and vehicles for county operation, among other transit projects,
The Bad News
According to Carlos Monje Jr., U.S. Department of Transportation's third-highest ranking official, "Without congressional actions, we aren’t going to be able to move on many of the new programs funded in the bill.” Among the items that are currently held up in Congressional red tape are is $1.2 billion to help reduce carbon emissions and $1.4 billion to protect roads and bridges against the effects of climate change.
Overall, it's our hope that these federal budget fights will be resolved sooner rather than later, as we've seen the disastrous results of inaction on infrastructure as recently as weeks ago when a bridge collapsed in the Pittsburgh area. In the meantime, for those who would like to take a deeper dive into the IIJA, click here to read the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act in full.
And as for public transit in South Florida (Broward County in particular)? You can learn all about transportation surtax-funded projects that are complete or underway in your community in Broward by visiting the user-friendly MAP Broward Project Dashboard.
Additionally, we will continue to provide updates on the IIJA and other federal, state, and local ordinances impacting South Florida public transit.
Additionally, you can provide important feedback to local transportation stakeholders on your usage, awareness, and satisfaction with local transit options with the Public Perception Survey. Just five minutes will help your local government understand YOUR transportation needs!
Finally, to learn more about professional marketing. communications, advertising, and public affairs offered by ADEPT, find us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube or send us an email at email@example.com,