US Transportation Secretary Visits Houston To Discuss Funding Challenges

Anthony Foxx says short-term fixes will harm the economy.

U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx told the annual meeting of the American Public Transportation Association that transit planners must pressure Congress to come up with long-term funding solutions.


U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx says when it comes to paying for the country’s infrastructure needs, Congress needs to be aware of the “real costs of patching our way into the future.”

Foxx was in Houston to address the annual meeting of the American Public Transportation Association. He said if transportation grinds to a halt, so does the U.S. economy.

“The short-term patch passed by Congress this summer was just the latest in a pattern of the same kind of behavior,” said Foxx. “Congress has passed 28 short-term measures in the last six years. Now we can complain about Congress, maybe in some sense we should, but then again we’ve always complained about Congress in this country. And complaining as we’ve seen doesn’t change much.”

Foxx said those funding needs extend to local transit systems. He told the group that transit ridership around the country is reaching new highs, but public transportation agencies still face billions of dollars in deferred maintenance. 

“Given the great needs we have as a country when it comes to infrastructure, given the growth that we see coming down the pike, given the backlog of maintenance needs, why are we not doing more? If the American people are swiping their Metro cards and passing through turnstyles in record numbers, why aren’t we investing more to meet their needs?” asked Foxx. 


Entire speech from U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx:

Foxx poses with Houston Mayor Annise Parker.

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Gail Delaughter

Gail Delaughter

Transportation Reporter

From early-morning interviews with commuters to walks through muddy construction sites, Gail covers all aspects of getting around Houston. That includes walking, driving, cycling, taking the bus, and occasionally flying. Before she became transportation reporter in 2011, Gail hosted weekend programs for Houston Public Media. She's also covered courts in...

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