When we talk about making transportation safer and stronger, and being more efficient as we improve the roads, rails, bridges, and buses we leave for the next generation of Americans, we're not talking about filling in potholes. We're talking about a transportation system that is stronger for the long-term. And to make that happen, we need every tool in the box...and a few we haven't even thought of yet.
Because just as the men and women of today need to be able to get to jobs or school without having to fight traffic or stand in the hot summer sun waiting for the bus, our kids and the kids of our neighbors and friends will need transportation that works tomorrow.
They are counting on us to give them an America that is stronger than the one we inherited--just as those who came before us left a rail network that stretched from coast to coast and then an interstate highway network that connected communities across the nation. From new technologies to public private partnerships, we must use every tool at our disposal to make our transportation system better.
We've already seen great examples of public-private partnerships--the Historic Millwork District in Dubuque, Iowa; the new HOT lanes on I-495 in Fairfax County, Virginia; or Denver's Union Station.
We've also seen our TIFIA loan guarantee program leverage $43.8 billion in infrastructure investments across America in cities like Chicago, Los Angeles, and Dallas.
On the technical side, our Federal Transit Administration is helping develop buses that run on battery power and hydrogen, freeing us from our reliance on oil. Our Federal Railroad Administration is working to step up passenger train speeds in busy rail corridors from the Northwest to the Southeast. And our Maritime Administration is supporting a growing network of Marine Highways.
We're not just fostering innovation among experienced professionals; we're also encouraging America's students to stretch our transportation boundaries through challenges, internships, partnerships, and our University Transportation Centers program.
The progress we've made so far is great. And DOT will extend this progress going forward.
From its earliest days, this country has thrived through ingenuity, resourcefulness, and perseverance. We have been a nation that dreams of --and achieves-- the impossible.
We are still that nation.