The American Trucking Associations and NATSO, the trade association representing U.S.’ truck stops and travel plazas Thursday commended the $2.3 trillion infrastructure plan announced by U.S. President Joe Biden on Wednesday. The Truckload Carriers Association, meanwhile, expressed concern over the plan.
Biden has called the blueprint “a once in a generation investment in America,” according to the Associated Press.
The White House says the largest chunk of the proposal includes $621 billion for roads, bridges, public transit, electric vehicle charging stations and other transportation infrastructure.
ATA president and CEO Chris Spear says, ““We commend President Biden for leading on infrastructure and putting forward his administration’s vision to modernize and revitalize our nation’s aging transportation networks. The health of our economy, strength of our supply chain and safety of the motoring public require us to make big, bold investments in our nation’s roads and bridges, and this plan would steer much needed funding to critical projects along our national highway system.”
Spear added, “We also disagree with certain provisions – especially those related to labour – that are counterproductive to economic growth and will only serve as political poison pills. However, the President’s broader plan is an important marker as Congress begins work on a surface transportation reauthorization bill. ATA recognizes this is the beginning of the legislative process, not the end.”
Lisa Mullings, president and CEO of NATSO says, “NATSO is encouraged by the Biden administration’s commitment to the nation’s immediate and long-term infrastructure needs as outlined in today’s proposal. We are pleased to see that the administration’s plan did not incorporate tolling existing interstates and commercializing rest areas, which would harm off-highway businesses and highway users.”
“NATSO and its member locations are eager to work with the Administration to advance its infrastructure objectives, including building a reliable and safe nationwide network of electric vehicle charging stations,” Mullings added. “Any effort to develop a nationwide network of charging stations will only succeed if there is a clear, unambiguous policy framework that harnesses the core competencies of the utility and retail fuel sectors. There should be a very strong business case for both utilities and fuel retailers to work together to create a nationwide network of fast charging stations.”
TCA president John Lyboldt says, “TCA acknowledges the dedication of President Biden and his administration to improve our nation’s deteriorating infrastructure; however, we remain vitally concerned that the proposed plan does not address creating a fully sustainable funding mechanism to keep the Highway Trust Fund solvent and other components which are sure to be challenged by Congress.”
He added, “Additionally, the inclusion of any language that jeopardizes the independent contractor business model, which has proven itself in our industry as a pathway to the American dream, is unnecessary in a plan that should be devoted to the development of a world-class network of interstates dedicated to serving the American public.”