The American Road & Transportation Builders Association (ARTBA) partnered with the Americans for Transportation Mobility (ATM) coalition (lead by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce) and other industry groups to launch a new advertising and grassroots campaign, "Make Transportation Job #1," focused on pressuring Congress to pass the overdue, multi-year surface transportation investment bill. ARTBA serves as an ATM vice chair.
The ATM delivered an open letter to Congress January 25 urging action. It was signed by more than 1,000 entities from all 50 states, including many ARTBA members, and marks the launch of an effort to tell Congress to "Make Transportation Job #1" and to pass a highway and transit bill this spring.
The Associated General Contractors offers easy access to Congress and guidance on what to say through its Surface Transportation Reauthorization web page.
The current highway and transit authorization law, known as SAFETEA-LU, expired nearly 850 days ago. The programs have been operating under a series of short-term funding extensions since October 1, 2009, and the current one ends on March 31. Leaders in the House and Senate have expressed their intention to move forward on their respective measures soon.
"Our message to the Congress is simple: 'It's time to do your job.' Pass a properly-funded surface transportation bill to kick-start the economy and get America moving again," ARTBA President Pete Ruane said.
The coalition is launching a six figure ad campaign in the Nation's Capital, and key states and districts around the country over the month of February, including television, radio and on-line ads. The "Make Transportation Job #1 Campaign" will also include a radio tour and a grassroots initiative over the February congressional recess.
ARTBA supports the activities of ATM through its "Transportation Makes America Work" (TMAW) campaign, a long-term communications and advocacy program aimed at building public and political support for new transportation investments.
Under the TMAW umbrella, the association will soon begin airing a television ad, developed in partnership with the American Public Transportation Association, that features transportation-related speech excerpts from former Presidents Reagan & Clinton and calls on members of Congress to work together to complete action on the bill.
The ATM is a nationwide effort by business, labor, transportation organizations and concerned citizens to advocate for improved and increased investment in the nation's surface transportation infrastructure.