Using his Presidential platform, Joe Biden announced his Build Back Better Plan, “a national effort aimed at creating the jobs we need to build a modern, sustainable infrastructure now and deliver an equitable clean energy future.” As part of this plan, Biden intends to make a $2 trillion accelerated investment to set the United States on a path that meets these goals. Of this $2 trillion, Biden will allocate $85 billion to modernize public transit, including commuter rails, buses, and stations. He’ll also allocate an additional $80 billion to enhance the nation’s passenger and freight rail networks. These funds will be used to “address Amtrak’s repair backlog; modernize the high traffic Northeast Corridor; [and] improve existing corridors and connect new city pairs.” The administration says that this funding could also help the development of a high-speed rail. In June of this year, Biden restored a $929 million grant for California’s high-speed rail project. The high-speed rail project aims to be completed in the 2030s.
While Biden has yet to release a formal allocation of funds, a USDOT official sent a proposed breakdown of the transportation infrastructure plan, which includes the following items:
- Transit System Expansion: $25 billion
- Public Transportation Repairs: $55 billion
- Diesel Bus Conversion to Electric: $25 billion
- Northeast Corridor Modernization: $39 billion
- Amtrak National Network: $19 billion
- Other Intercity Passenger Rail: $20 billion
- Build/Install 500,000 Electric Vehicle Chargers: $15 billion
Within the auto industry, Biden plans to create 1 million jobs. Many of these jobs will come from manufacturing and installing an estimated 500,000 electric vehicle charging stations. By 2030, he also plans to “provide every American city with 100,000 or more residents with high-quality, zero-emissions public transportation . . . ranging from light rail networks to improving existing transit and bus lines.” Through his budgeting process, he will allocate flexible federal investments to help these cities install light rail networks and enhance their transit and bus lines. By 2035, Biden’s plan will expand the U.S. rail network by creating 30 new routes that will serve an estimated 20 million more people than those that used Amtrak in 2019.
Additionally, Biden’s plan promises that by 2030, all American-built buses will be zero-emissions. His plan will accelerate this goal by converting the 500,000 school buses in America to zero emissions. He hopes to transform the energy sources that power the transportation sector, including rail, aviation, ports, and inland waterways, to make it easier for travel to be powered by electricity and clean fuels. The goal of these changes is to reduce U.S. greenhouse gas emissions, reduce traffic, and create jobs that will boost the U.S. economy.