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Blog: Atlanta BeltLine: Connecting People with Better Jobs, Better Education, and a Higher Quality of Life

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To start the third day of my "Invest in America, Commit to the Future" bus tour, I visited the east side of Atlanta's planned BeltLine project. This 22-mile ring of trails and transit and parks will not only connect more than 45 communities, but will connect people with better jobs, better education, and a higher quality of life.

This is what the President calls a "ladder of opportunity." And to get a sense of just how game-changing this project would be, all you have to do is look at how game-changing recent transit projects in Atlanta have been.

At DOT, we were proud to award the Atlanta streetcar project more than $47 million dollars from our TIGER grant program. We think that was a pretty good deal when you consider the project has generated roughly 15 times that in investments in things like new businesses and new housing.

All that, and the streetcard hasn't even started running yet.

So, this is why Atlantans are excited about the BeltLine -- and why we're working with this city to help the project move forward.

But there are countless other communities who want to pursue projects like Atlanta, but lack the funds to do it. As I continue to travel across the country, I'll be calling on Americans to join me in support of this proposal set forth by President Obama and DOT, which will provide funding for our nation's roads and bridges and will provide funding for projects like the BeltLine, as well. $72 billion will be set aside for transit.

That way, Atlanta -- and the nation -- can have what they deserve: a 21st-century transportation system.


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