Whether stuck on the freeway, sitting on the tarmac, overcrowded on the bus or late on the train, individuals now have a quick and easy way to let their members of Congress know about their frustrations. The new mobile app “I’m Stuck” gives people a way to directly email their elected officials.
The app was created by Building America’s Future, a bipartisan coalition of elected officials that work to bring investment in the United States’ infrastructure to enhance economic competitiveness and quality of life. It is founded by former Gov. Edward Rendell of Pennsylvania, former Gov. Arnold Scharzenegger of California and Mayor Michael Bloomberg of New York.
BAF President Marcia Hale explained after downloading the free app from the Google Play Store or from iTunes, individuals enter their personal information once and it uses GPS technology to connect people to their members of Congress. The app asks how you’re stuck – traffic jam, metro/subway delay, bus delay, tarmac delay, train delay, overcrowded transit, other – and you can enter a personal message and then you simply click which of your members of Congress you want the message sent to.
During a recent conference call announcing the launch of the app, Gov. Rendell explained the rationale behind the launch. They are looking to raise awareness on the public’s frustrations to Washington and to build support for funding the nation’s infrastructure. “People sit in their cars and they’re angry. We’re giving them something to do about it,” he said.
While 10 years ago the U.S. infrastructure was ranked the best in the world, today it ranks 14 Rendell stated. He also pointed out rail ranks 18th and air ranks 32nd, behind countries like Panama and Malaysia. He also pointed out that the Texas Transportation Institute concluded the average driver spends $818 a year by sitting in traffic and that UPS has stated for every five miles an hour or less its trucks can go, they lose a hundred million dollars.
“Republicans and Democrats alike acknowledge the problem; everyone says we have to do something about it,” Rendell said of the nation’s congested and aging infrastructure. He said though both sides agree that infrastructure spending is the second most important thing the government can do behind defense, yet nothing gets done, nothing gets funded.
“At BAF we believe that the cost of doing something is less than the cost of doing nothing,” Rendell stressed.