In an effort to raise awareness for transportation funding New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio and New York Senator Charles Schumer took a ride on the R train (full disclosure I also ride the R train). Mr. Schumer discussed the gas tax while Mr. de Blasio talked about the need for New Yorkers to pressure Congress for funding. This was mostly a fun little media move as the two Democratic politicians rode from Brooklyn to their press conference at City Hall. The press conference coincided with National Transportation Day.
All photo ops and small talk aside transportation funding is an enormous issue as the Federal Highway Trust Fund is set to expire on May 31st. To his credit Mr. de Blasio has been pushing for Infrastructure spending along with mayors of other major cities such as Boston and Seattle. Mr. de Blasio said “”This country has been going backwards in terms of investment in transportation infrastructure. The numbers remain flat while the need has gotten greater and greater and our infrastructure gets older and older.” Although it is the United States Senator who has the power to do something about infrastructure spending the mayor of New York City has used his bully pulpit rather effectively in bringing this issue to light.