Transportation index highlights needs

U.S. Chamber of Commerce logo


BILL RADKE: Today, businesses will call for improvements to the nation's transportation network. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce will unveil its first-ever transportation performance index to highlight what it calls the urgent need to rebuild infrastructure.

Marketplace's John Dimsdale has that from Washington.

JOHN DIMSDALE: Dilapidated highways, corroding rail lines and neglected seaports are raising the cost of delivering goods and services. And that's slowing down the recovery, says the Chamber of Commerce. How bad are conditions?

SUE MCNEIL: Clear indication of going down, getting worse over the last five to six years.

Sue McNeil at the University of Delaware worked with the Chamber to come up with the transportation performance index. She says the index shows businesses are suffering the consequences of disintegration.

MCNEIL: Rather than working in the infrastructure, they work around it. Companies do off-peak delivery, they worry about damage to the vehicle. So they think about how they make their vehicles more robust.

McNeil says a 10-point improvement in the new transportation index would generate 3 percent more growth in the nation's Gross Domestic Product. How much would that cost? That's the next research project, she says.

In Washington, I'm John Dimsdale for Marketplace.

About the author

As head of Marketplace’s Washington, D.C. bureau, John Dimsdale provides insightful commentary on the intersection of government and money for the entire Marketplace portfolio.


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