by Emil H. Frankel
American Action Forum
July 09, 2014
Federal funding for transportation investment has become increasingly constrained. In these circumstances, federal dollars should be targeted on those programs with the greatest impact on national economic growth. Investments that enhance the accessibility of metropolitan markets are critical to national economic growth. The nation’s largest 51 metropolitan areas generate 65 percent of the nation’s output and about 70 percent of all wages. They are centers of innovation and knowledge transfer and are the engines of American economic growth and prosperity. A federal transportation program focused on metropolitan access might include: (a) a mode-neutral formula program for metropolitan regions of greater than 500,000 that establish institutions that meet national economic goals; (b) a competitive program for all metropolitan capital programs that meet national economic goals; and (c) the expanded use of federal loans and loan guarantees, and new federal infrastructure financing mechanisms.

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