Remarks As Prepared for Delivery; Actual Presentations May Differ
October 25, 2010
I’m delighted to be here in Las Vegas, a legendary city with an enviable knack for reinventing itself to meet the needs and challenges of every generation.
Today we’re celebrating a new chapter in Southern Nevada’s evolution as a transit-friendly Sun Belt community.
The Bonneville Transit Center plays a starring role in the redevelopment and revitalization of downtown Las Vegas. This thoughtfully designed, environmentally sustainable
facility is a magnet for commuters, tourists, and bicyclists who’d like to be able to get around without having to drive everywhere. It will go a long way to help Las Vegas become a more walkable, livable city—one with less traffic congestion and cleaner air for all of us to breathe.
The center is also a lynchpin in the effort to bring more convenient and accessible bus rapid transit service into downtown Las Vegas—making it easier than ever to reach the Strip and other major employment centers without a car.
And it’s a great example of the Obama Administration’s commitment to creating the jobs America’s workers need today, while building the new transportation infrastructure our cities need for tomorrow.
The Department of Transportation was proud to provide a 5.5 million-dollar boost from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, on top of the nearly $12 million my agency, FTA, had already provided, to send this project over the finish line.
These investments helped create many, many good construction jobs in Las Vegas at a time when construction workers were especially hard hit by the sharp economic downturn.
Everyone in Las Vegas should take great pride in this modern transportation hub. It may not be as flashy as the casinos up the road, but it goes a long way to improve the quality of life for millions of Valley residents.
And I’d like to note that our commitment here is part of a series of strategic investments we’ve made over the last year to help bring more good transportation choices to Nevadans, create new jobs, and spur this region’s economy recovery.
Just recently, we provided $8 million dollars to replace many of the aging buses serving the Valley, and bring local transit systems into a state of good repair. In July, we delivered $2.7 million for a transit center at the state university’s Las Vegas campus.
And last February, we delivered $34 million to develop the Sahara Avenue bus rapid transit corridor.
Thank you, Senator Reid, Representative Berkley and Representative Titus, and all the transportation and business leaders here today for your great support for all these initiatives.
You share our view that transportation is a major driver in our economy—and Nevada needs to continue to modernize and enhance its transportation systems for the 21st century and keep its economy growing.
And there’s still much more to come.
President Obama has laid out a bold new vision for the future of America’s infrastructure – starting with a $50 billion upfront investment in better transit, roads, rails, and airports – which we hope Congress will adopt when it gets back to business.
Ultimately, everything we do reflects a fundamental recognition: Americans can still build great things not just in spite of enormous economic challenges, but as the means of overcoming them.
Las Vegas lives by this principle, every day, and will continue to do so for years to come.
Thank you for all your hard work, and we’ll continue to be your partners as we build the sustainable infrastructure America needs to thrive and compete in the 21st century.