Today, Congressman Sires testified before the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee's, Highways and Transit Subcommittee on his transportation policy proposals including ways to improve commuting and create a national freight proposal. The Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, Highways and Transit Subcommittee held the hearing to receive testimony from Members of Congress on their priorities for the upcoming surface transportation bill.
"As we work together to draft a robust six year surface transportation bill, we must make sure that certain key elements are included," said Congressman Sires. "My district in New Jersey is one of the most densely populated areas in the nation, and we must make sure that our transportation system is efficient, protects our environment, and addresses the needs of all Americans."
During the hearing, Congressman Sires offered testimony in support of his legislation to reduce congestion and making the nation's transportation system more efficient. Congressman Sires testified in support of H.R. 260, Commute LESS (Leveraging Employer Support and Successes), which would reduce congestion by providing employers with the tools necessary to provide alternative forms of transportation such as transit, carpooling, or teleworking. Metropolitan planning organizations would work with employers to receive input regarding development of long-range transportation plans. Additionally, if construction plans impede the flow of traffic for more than 120 days, or exceed $100 million dollars, this bill would require a mitigation plan.
Congressman Sires has also introduced H.R. 1338, the "Focusing Resources, Economic Investment, and Guidance to Help Transportation Act of 2011,"and testified in support of the FREIGHT Act, which would create a national freight transportation policy to improve freight efficiency, operation, and security. This plan would assess the current national freight system and its ability to achieve future objectives and goals. Second, this bill would establish a dedicated Office of Freight Planning and Development, within the Department of Transportation, to be led by an Assistant Secretary of Freight Planning and Development. This Office would be instrumental in facilitating communication among stakeholders and different levels of government. Lastly, national freight infrastructure grants would be awarded on a competitive basis to improve the efficiency of the national transportation system.
"The next surface transportation bill should take a comprehensive approach to improve the well-being of all of constituents." said Sires. "I am looking forward to working with my colleagues on the Highways Subcommittee to draft a long-term reauthorization bill that will invest in our infrastructure, create jobs, and stimulate the economy."