The first section of the report, A Building Crisis, makes the case why U.S. infrastructure has fallen from first place in the World Economic Forum's 2005 economic competitiveness ranking to number 15 today. The second section of the report, Losing Ground to Our Global Competitors, takes an international look at transportation infrastructure and highlights certain themes that unify our competitors' plans while setting our transportation policies apart. The third section of the report, Recommendations for Reform, contains a clear set of recommendations for moving our economy-- and the case for strategic investment in infrastructureforward.
The report explains how international economic competitors are sprinting ahead of the U.S. and outlines the case for creating a blueprint to transition to a high-tech transportation network for the 21st century. The report also contains many sobering statistics detailing how the U.S. is falling behind including:
- U.S. infrastructure has fallen from first place in the World Economic Forum's 2005 economic competitiveness ranking to number 15 today;
- China now boasts six of the world's top ten ports -- and none of the top ten are located in the U.S. The Shanghai port now moves more container traffic a year than the top seven U.S. ports combined;
- The U.S. has the world's worst air traffic congestion -- a quarter of flights in the U.S. arrive more than 15 minutes late, and the national average for all delayed flights in the U.S. (about 56 minutes) is twice that of Europe's average;
- There are more than 15,000 miles of true high-speed rail in operation around the world essentially none of which is in the U.S.;
- The U.S. is one of the only leading nations without a national plan for public-private partnerships for infrastructure projects or a National Infrastructure Bank to finance large-scale projects and leverage private capital.
- Develop a long-term national infrastructure strategy that makes choices based on economics, not politics.
- Pass a robust transportation bill that focuses investment on projects that will increase economic return and mobility while reducing congestion and pollution. Such a bill will put Americans back to work and make the U.S. more competitive in the global economy.
- Be both innovative and realistic about how to pay (including the establishment of a National Infrastructure Bank) and looking at all long-term revenue generating options including congestion pricing, carbon auctions, fees based on miles traveled, and once the economy recovers an updated gas-tax.
- Promote accountability and innovation by setting clear criteria for all funding; encouraging innovation by states and the country's largest cities through competitive grants; and carefully auditing the results to ensure projects are completed on time, on budget, and yielding promised results.