ARTBA is investing TMAW resources to help:
COVID-19 & Surface Transportation Reauthorization
The COVID-19 pandemic has underscored once again the importance of the nation’s transportation network during times of national emergency and highlights the need for continued investment in roads, highways, bridges and public transit.
ARTBA is advocating for passage as soon as possible of a robust, multi-year authorization of the nation’s surface transportation programs to serve as successor to the 2015 FAST Act law, which expires Sept. 30. The Senate Environment & Public Works Committee unanimously approved in July 2019 a five-year proposal, America’s Transportation Infrastructure Act (ATIA), which represents the largest boost in highway investment through a reauthorization bill in more than 20 years. Further action is pending in the Senate and the House is working on its version of the bill. At the same time, ARTBA supports the call for a $50 billion infusion of federal funding to state transportation departments hard hit by the steep drop in gas tax revenue related to stay-at-home orders to help ensure that improvement projects keep moving forward.
To help create political pressure for congressional action, TMAW is executing a carefully constructed education and advertising campaign in Washington, D.C., that provides a transportation infrastructure vision for the Trump Administration and congressional leaders to invest in and the messaging they can use to support it with voters. Driven in part by opinion research and focus group analysis, it includes creative materials and ad development and a strategy involving social, digital, cable and print media.
Operation of the ARTBA “Transportation Investment Advocacy Center™” (TIAC)
Now in its seventh year, the Center is devoted to helping move the transportation infrastructure funding needle at the state and local levels. TIAC activities are wholly reliant on TMAW contributions. Its centerpiece webiste, www.transportationinvestment.org, was refreshed in 2019. TIAC tracked 305 state and local transportation investment ballot initiatives and about the same number of legislative funding proposals. The year-end result: 30 state legislatures passed measures estimated to generate $7.7 billion in one-time and recurring revenue; voters approved nearly $10 billion more in new and recurring transportation investment. The Center’s 31-state grassroots advocacy network and an 85-person Council helps guide the operations, which includes an annual national workshop and numerous reports and studies.
National Coalition Support
Through TMAW contributions, ARTBA provides leadership and financial support for coalitions and organizations that back our surface transportation investment and regulatory agenda in the Nation’s Capital. These include the 31-member Transportation Construction Coalition (TCC), which ARTBA co-chairs, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce-led Alliance for Transportation Mobility (ATM), the Waters Advocacy Coalition, the Construction Industry Safety Coalition and The Road Information Program (TRIP). ARTBA’s support helps make possible coalition advocacy advertising campaigns, research projects, and special events.
Legal Advocacy Program
TMAW contributions also make possible ARTBA’s participation in federal litigation to protect its members’ market and business interests. One of our cases, heard in 2017 before the U.S. Supreme Court, is challenging the EPA’s decision to expand the definition of the “waters of the U.S.” under federal law to incorporate ditches abutting road projects. ARTBA also recently won a legal challenge that allowed Maryland’s Purple Line light rail project to move forward, which has major national implications for the future use of public-private partnerships in the transportation market.
Digital & Social Media Outreach
ARTBA bolsters its direct and grassroots lobbying efforts by providing its members with the third party-provided “Phone2Action” grassroots action platform and “Transportation Construction Advocate™” app, as well as digital and social media messaging generated by staff partially supported through TMAW. These activities target members of Congress and other policymakers about pending transportation policy issues.