When most people think of infrastructure, they think first of roads and bridges. The passenger and freight rail system and public transit are also important categories of surface transportation. We will consider surface transportation first as a whole and then examine each of three sub-categories.
The ASCE 2021 Report Card estimates that we need $122 billion per year in total new funding (including state and local) to raise the condition of our surface transportation to a B grade. President Biden’s plan would add $30.4 billion per year, which is 25% of the new funding needed and a 44% increase in federal baseline spending. The Senate Republicans’ plan would add $15.5 billion per year, which is 13% of the new funding needed and a 23% increase in federal funding. The Common Sense Coalition plan that President Biden now supports proposes $47.1 billion in new funding, which is 39% of the need and a 69% increase in federal funding. The Problem Solvers’ plan proposes $38.7 billion, providing 32% of the need and a 57% increase in federal funding per year.