The Stimulus Bill Is Working
August 10, 2010 11:03 AM
Yesterday we celebrated the addition of 14 more hybrid buses to our city fleet. That makes 20 total or about 10% of the 205 buses Metro runs.
The buses were purchased with 100% federal dollars from the American Recovery & Reinvestment Act (the stimulus bill passed last year). Because of the cost premium on hybrids we would never have been able to buy that many of them without ARRA.
The new buses have multiple benefits. First and most importantly, they put Americans back to work. Ninety-percent of these buses were built right here in the United States with supply chains running all over the country. Second, they're saving local taxpayers money in the long run. Over the life of these buses, they'll save about a half million dollars in fuel and that's just based on today's relatively low prices. If fuel costs go up, so will the savings because these buses are 30% more fuel efficient than conventional vehicles. And, of course, they're good for our environment. These busses will produce about 39% less nitrogen oxide, 60% less carbon monoxide and 97% less particulate matter.
ARRA has been good for America. It's kept us out of an even deeper recession and helped us make long-term investments that will benefit our communities for decades to come. In Madison, we're doing more with ARRA than just buying fuel efficient busses. We're rebuilding University Avenue and other streets, we're weathering homes and businesses to reduce expensive heating and cooling costs and, of course, a high speed rail line will connect Madison to the rest of the Midwest thanks to ARRA.
Our Congresswoman Tammy Baldwin was there to see the buses hit the streets and then she had to return to Washington to vote on another bill to help keep us from slipping back into a deeper recession. This one, much smaller than last year's ARRA, will help keep teachers in classrooms and bolster strained state budgets. That's important legislation, but with the recovery losing steam what's needed is ARRA 2, another big shot of stimulus that will allow us to make more smart, long-term investments that put Americans back to work.