As investigators begin to piece together what led to a deadly commuter train derailment Sunday, former Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood decried a lack of investment in the nation's transportation infrastructure.
“We haven’t made the investments,” LaHood said on MSNBC's "Morning Joe," adding that the fatal crash demonstrated what was wrong with infrastructure through the nation.
The former secretary, a Republican who served as secretary from 2009 to 2013, said that citizens and Congress had to come together to enact legislation to renovate existing systems and build new ones.
“It’s going to be up to Congress, it's going to be up to the administration, it’s going to be up to the people to decide that they're sick and tired of driving on crumbling roads, driving on bad, dangerous bridges and riding on 50-year-old transit systems that need repair for tracks, for new cars and new infrastructure,” he said.
“We need the leadership of people to stand up and say we've got to make the investments and spend the money correctly, put friends and neighbors to work and make America number one in infrastructure again,” he said.
There have been improvements in states where people have voted in referendums, including states that have voted to increase sales tax and use the funds to fix infrastructure, he added.
And while the Department of Transportation received $48 billion dollars in federal stimulus money for transportation infrastructure in 2009, he said that number was meager compared to national needs.
“Rather than $48 billion it should have been $480 billion,” he said.
First published December 2 2013, 7:16 AM