The Association of American Railroads (AAR) celebrated Infrastructure Week (May 16-23), joining a large contingent of American businesses, labor and policymakers in stressing the importance of infrastructure while touting the standing of a U.S. freight railroad system that invests $26 billion annually in its network.
“While perhaps out of sight and out of mind to many Americans, U.S. freight railroads play an integral role in supporting the health of the nation’s infrastructure,” said Edward R. Hamberger, President and CEO at the AAR. “Unlike other modes of transportation, railroads own and operate their own infrastructure so taxpayers do not have to. And by doing so, railroads help ease congestion and wear and tear on those systems that taxpayers do help fund. The benefits of this system, as well as the billions in taxes railroads do pay into funds designated for infrastructure, are aplenty and worth sharing as we reflect on the need improve our roads and bridges.”
AAR is a one of more than 100 affiliate organizations taking part in advocacy this week. “Infrastructure Week is the largest, most diverse, non-partisan coalition of organizations dedicated to strengthening America by rebuilding our infrastructure,” the organizers said. Edward R. Hamberger marked the occasion by reiterating the value of U.S. freight railroads today at the 4th Annual Global Supply Chain Summit, hosted by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.
“Freight rail pays its own way, takes trucks off of roads and in turn helps reduce congestion, lost time and greenhouse gases,” added Hamberger. “On a daily basis, Americans experience the stark contrast in publicly funded highways versus privately owned railways. One is emblematic of dysfunction while the other embodies efficiency and self-sufficiency. As we mark Infrastructure Week and coalesce to help advance solutions, we should be studying the success of the freight rail system to help reimagine what is possible.”
More information about Infrastructure Week can be found here: http://infrastructureweek.org
AAR encourages those celebrating the week or following #InfrastructureMatters efforts on social media to visit AAR.org to learn more about how privately funded railroads help support U.S. infrastructure.