Congressman Bob Filner is a senior member of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, which has jurisdiction over all modes of transportation, public buildings, the U.S. Coast Guard, and water resources. In his position, Congressman Filner works to highlight and address the unique transportation and water resources needs of San Diego and Imperial Counties as well as the U.S./Mexico border region. Click HERE for the latest information on Transportation and Infrastructure Committee legislation, hearings and reports.
New San Diego Airport
Congressman Filner believes the answer to our need for a new airport may lie to the east of San Diego County. A site in Imperial County, served by a high-speed rail line, is less than 20 minutes from downtown San Diego! The San Diego Regional Airport Authority has pared down a list of sites for the next San Diego regional airport--and left, in Congressman Filner's view, an Imperial County desert site as the only viable choice.
Several years ago, Bob received funding to allow a full study of Imperial County locations for a future airport. The greater San Diego area is a growing world-class community and we need a world-class airport to meet our needs in the future. We need to have the courage to do what previous airport site selection groups have failed to do: think in terms of solutions for the next fifty years--not the failed solutions of yesteryear.
Keeping Passenger Flights at the Imperial Valley Airport
In 2005 and again in 2008, the only airline that offered passenger air service at the Imperial Airport, SkyWest Airlines, Inc., announced the company's intentions to eliminate service to Imperial Valley. Bob was instrumental in working with local and county leaders, the airlines, and the U.S. Department of Transportation to resolve the issue and maintain passenger services in the Valley. Bob is a big supporter of maintaining the federally funded Essential Air Service (EAS) program, which guarantees that small communities that were served by certificated air carriers before deregulation maintain a minimal level of scheduled air service.
HIGHWAYS AND TRANSIT
Surface Transportation Authorization Act of 2009
Bob believes that highway and transit construction not only improve safety and ease congestion, but are a true economic stimulus! Bob fought to include the highest possible levels of highway and transit funding in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.
Bob is also working with his colleagues on the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee to advance the Surface Transportation Authorization Act of 2009: A Blueprint for Investment and Reform that will transform Federal surface transportation from a collection of presecriptive programs to a performance-based framework for intermodal transportation investment.
The Committee's Blueprint is designed to achieve specific national objectives: reduce fatalities and injuries on our nation's highways; unlock the congestion that cripples major cities and the freight transportation network; provide transportation choices for commuters and travelers; limit the adverse effects of transportation on the environment; and promote public health and the livability of our communities.
Border Transportation Funding
As a senior member of the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, Bob is fighting for highway and transit construction projects needed in San Diego and Imperial Counties. Bob is also working to ensure that the border region receives a larger share of federal transportation dollars. As California's Border Congressman, Bob knows first-hand that border congestion has negatively impacted families who must cross the border regularly for work or school and the health of our constituents who breathe in the pollution caused by idle trucks and cars at the international borders.
Most of the trucks entering through the southern land ports of entry (POEs) are destined for areas far beyond the immediate border region, making congestion a national problem that requires federal funding to solve! Bob is fighting to ensure that small border communities receive federal assistance to deal with traffic congestion, automobile and pedestrian safety, and infrastructure strains posed by this huge volume of freight and automobile traffic movement.
Amtrak is an essential part of our nation's transportation system for many Americans and deserves to be maintained and expanded. Congressman Filner has consistently supported federal legislation to fund and improve Amtrak.
Bob is working closely with Congressional leaders to ensure Amtrak's future viability and financial stability. You can be assured that he will also continue to oppose cuts in Amtrak's budget and pursue innovative ways to protect affordable means of transportation for all Americans.
Maglev and High-Speed Rail
If a new airport is built to the east of San Diego County at a site in Imperial County served by a high-speed rail line, it could be less than 20 minutes from downtown San Diego! The beauty of a high-speed rail line connecting downtown San Diego to rural Imperial County (with a few stops in between) is that, in addition to serving the airport, it could be the solution for our lack of affordable housing in San Diego. A high-speed rail line will improve our regional transportation system, re-defining how we live and work in San Diego and Imperial Counties.
Bob has championed the re-opening of the San Diego-Arizona Railroad for many years. Re-opening the "Jobs Train" will make San Diego a true maritime center and add thousands of high-paying jobs to our economy. The key to that working commercial port for us is direct freight railroad connections to the rest of our nation.
After many years of struggle, the Carrizo Gorge Railroad opened service on the line. This is an important first step. Congressman Filner has secured $10 million in federal funds to be spent on an "inter-modal center," where easy transitions can be made from ship to train.