Many in the industry are wondering how President Biden’s infrastructure plan will impact U.S. trucking.
Truckers have plied U.S. highways and byways for decades. And as we’ve known for years, many of those thoroughfares are way overdue for maintenance, repairs, and upgrades. A White House report notes that one in five miles of U.S. highways and major roads is rated poor, 173,000 miles of roads need repair, and 45,000 bridges are in bad condition.
Enter the $2 trillion American Jobs Plan, which President Biden laid out on March 31, 2021.
The new infrastructure improvement plan includes a wide range of projects–from creating jobs and focusing on clean energy to fight climate change to modernizing rural areas across the U.S. that have fallen behind. It would spend money in and around minority communities, improve the nation’s drinking water systems, expand access to high-speed broadband internet and even provide weatherization assistance block grants to extend and expand home and commercial efficiency tax credits.
How Biden’s infrastructure plan will impact U.S. trucking
When it comes to U.S. transportation infrastructure, the American Jobs Plan will invest $621 billion in transportation infrastructure to improve public transit, expand passenger and freight rail service, increase the manufacturing of and infrastructure for electric vehicles, and improve ports, waterways, and airports. The plan’s assets allocation is as follows:
Roads, bridges, and highway safety. The White House says roads and bridges in poor condition cost the country more than $160 billion per year as motorists—including truckload and less-than-truckload truckers—sit in traffic, waste time and fuel, and create congestion. The plan proposes using $115 billion to modernize 20,000 miles of highways, roads, and main streets and repair the worst 10,000 small bridges. It also plans to fix the ten most economically significant bridges in the country in need of reconstruction. This money would also go toward projects to improve air quality and reduce congestion—the latter an essential benefit for moving freight in a timely way.
Safety and public transportation. The plan’s proposed $20 billion will improve road safety for all users. It includes increases to existing safety programs, a new Safe Streets for All program to fund state and local ‘vision zero’ plans, and other improvements to reduce crashes and fatalities, especially for cyclists and pedestrians. Improved road safety is key to helping reduce crashes and deaths and ensuring truckers’ safety as they navigate the nation’s busy highways.
Public transport. The purpose of the $85 billion allocated for public transportation improvements is to encourage more people to commute via transit systems. This step will reduce road congestion in and around cities, especially on the East Coast, reducing time-in-transit and fuel costs for truckers caught in massive traffic jams as they deliver freight or move from destination to destination.
Electric vehicles and charging. The plan has earmarked $174 billion to increase the U.S. market share of electronic vehicles (EVs) powered by a nationwide network of 500,000 vehicle chargers ready by 2030. Also, the plan replaces 50,000 diesel-powered transit vehicles with electronic vehicles, including school buses and U.S. Postal Service fleets. This aspect of the infrastructure plan will likely impact truckers as they begin to invest more in EVs in the future.
Ports. The plan includes $17 billion for coastal ports, land ports of entry, inland waterways, and ferries.
Clean transportation. The plan’s $27 billion Clean Energy and Sustainability Accelerator would encourage private investment in distributed energy resources, clean transportation, and more.
The Infrastructure Plan Presents Opportunities
The U.S. Infrastructure Plan presents long-standing opportunities for the trucking industry, including speeding freight delivery. It’s a great time to invest in the future.
The $2 trillion infrastructure plan will improve roadways and bridges across the country. Better roads mean that truck drivers can enjoy better and faster trips because of highway improvements. Using a transportation management system like the Axele TMS can improve transportation operations by helping carriers find better loads, increase profits, and grow their business.