Biden Administration makes case for American Jobs Plan with state fact sheets

April 13, 2021
The fact sheets looked at several statistics from overall infrastructure grade to public transit use.

The Biden Administration released a series of fact sheets for each of the 50 states, as well as the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico, as part of its push to deliver on the proposed American Jobs Plan.

The fact sheets highlight the number of bridges and miles of roads in each state in poor condition, the percentage of households without access to broadband, the billions of dollars required for water infrastructure, among other infrastructure needs, including public transportation. 

The Biden Administration highlights the increased percentage of time state residents spend commuting by public transit, how likely non-White households are to commute via public transit and the percentage of a state’s transit fleet that is past the useful life.

The American Jobs Plan includes a proposed $85 billion for direct transit investment and $80 billion for Amtrak within the plan’s $621 billion transportation investment proposal.

According to the White House, the American Jobs Plan aims to fix “crumbling transportation infrastructure” and make significant strides against the $105-billion repair backlog the U.S. Department of Transportation estimates exists.

According to the fact sheets, the states with the highest percentage of their transit fleet beyond its useful life:

  • Maine – 49%
  • South Dakota – 47%
  • Mississippi – 41%
  • Indiana – 38 %
  • Iowa – 38%

The Biden Administration argues the significant backlog of transit repair results in service delays and disruptions that “leave riders stranded and discourage transit use.” The administration is trying to make the case that by investing in expanded systems, rider demand can be met, which will “ultimately reduce traffic congestion for everyone.”

According to the fact sheets, the states with residents who spend the most additional time commuting via public transit:

  • Idaho – 150.2%
  • Wyoming – 150%
  • Nevada – 133.9%
  • Connecticut 130.4%
  • Rhode Island – 120.1%

A key to the administration’s proposal is advancing racial justice by providing a more equitable transportation network, which includes public systems. The administration explains Asian American and African American workers commute by public transit at nearly four times the rate of white workers. The administration’s goal is to increase transit access to communities of color, as well as “the economic opportunity that equitable transit systems unlock.”

States with highest occurrence of non-White households commuting by public transit:

  • Ohio – 6.2 times more
  • Kentucky – 6.2 times more
  • Wisconsin – 5.9 times more
  • Tennessee – 5.6 times more
  • Michigan – 5.6 times more

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Editor’s note: There are caveats to the information presented in the fact sheets. The Biden Administration did not make it clear from where the fact sheets’ information was sourced. The percentage of transit fleets beyond their useful life matches the most recent National Transit Database information. But the metric quantifying how much extra time state residents spend commuting via public transit does not indicate what that commute is being compared against. State residents who do not commute? State residents who commute using their own vehicle?

About the Author

Mischa Wanek-Libman | Group Editorial Director

Mischa Wanek-Libman serves as editor in chief of Mass Transit magazine and group editorial director of the Infrastructure and Aviation Group at Endeavor Business Media. She is responsible for developing and maintaining the editorial direction of the group and is based in the western suburbs of Chicago.

Wanek-Libman has spent more than 20 years covering transportation issues including construction projects and engineering challenges for various commuter railroads and transit agencies. She has been recognized for editorial excellence through her individual work, as well as for collaborative content. 

She is an active member of the American Public Transportation Association's Marketing and Communications Committee and serves as a Board Observer on the National Railroad Construction and Maintenance Association (NRC) Board of Directors.  

She is a graduate of Drake University, where she earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Journalism and Mass Communication with a major in magazine journalism and a minor in business management.