Program creates driver jobs

The Department of Transportation has received a round of grants that will help create driver jobs.

The U.S. Department of Transportation has received 212 applications totaling nearly $9.8 billion for grants through the newly-created Fostering Advancements in Shipping and Transportation for the Long-term Achievement of National Efficiencies (FASTLANE) grant program.

“Transportation creates jobs and makes jobs of the future possible.  We know there is pent up demand for projects that will speed up the delivery of goods and make America even more competitive.  Today, we have even more evidence,” said Secretary Foxx.  “We’re going to do our best to support high impact transportation projects that will lay a new foundation for job creation and exporting American made goods throughout the world.”

Of the 212 applications received, 136 represent projects in urban areas, while the remaining 76 would support rural projects. The deadline for submitting applications was April 14, 2016. The Department of Transportation is currently reviewing all eligible applications.

The FASTLANE program was established in December 2015 as part of the Fixing America’s Surface Transportation (FAST) Act to fund critical freight and highway projects across the country. FASTLANE grants provide dedicated funding for projects that address major issues facing our nation’s highways and bridges. For the first time in the U.S. Department of Transportation’s 50-year history, the program establishes broad, multiyear eligibilities for freight infrastructure, including intermodal projects.

FASTLANE grants will address many of the challenges outlined in the USDOT report Beyond Traffic, including increased congestion on the nation’s highways and the need for a strong multimodal transportation system to support the expected growth in freight movement both by ton and value.  It is also in line with the Department’s draft National Freight Strategic Plan released in October 2015, which looks at challenges and identifies strategies to address impediments to the efficient flow of goods throughout the nation.