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New Report Underscores NC Job Creators’ Continued Focus on Transportation

| Economic Development, Infrastructure

The NC Chamber and TRIP, a national transportation research nonprofit, have revealed the results of a new report that found North Carolina motorists pay about $10.3 billion in transportation-related costs each year from driving on poorly maintained and deteriorating roads and bridges in the state. The report, North Carolina Transportation by the Numbers: Meeting the State’s Need for Safe, Smooth, and Efficient Mobility, underscores a major priority of the Chamber’s 2021 legislative agenda: advocating for a modernized transportation funding structure that can meet the projected demands of our growing population.

The North Carolina Transportation by the Numbers report was conducted by TRIP and calculates additional vehicle operating costs from driving on rough roads, the costs of lost time and wasted fuel from increased pre-pandemic congestion, and the financial toll of traffic accidents caused by unsafe roadways. It analyzes these costs for the entire state as well as for residents of five of North Carolina’s largest metro areas and probes the deeper reasons behind their rise in recent decades. In addition to highlighting the costs of inaction, the report provides evidence that a strong transportation network supports a strong statewide economy, with 1.9 million jobs in North Carolina directly dependent on our transportation infrastructure.

You can find a link to the full North Carolina Transportation by the Numbers report here, as well as video interviews with the report author, infographics, and other resources that detail the report’s key findings.

North Carolina Transportation by the Numbers shows exactly how high the costs of inadequate highway infrastructure have become for the average North Carolinian and for the residents of our major metro areas,” said NC Chamber President and CEO Gary Salamido. “The evidence in this report leads to a clear conclusion: Our leaders have an opportunity to enact bold transportation legislation in 2021, or the costs will continue to pile up for North Carolina. The NC Chamber and our Destination 2030 Coalition stand ready to support our legislative partners in identifying and activating solutions.”

North Carolina derives much of its transportation revenue from the motor fuels tax, which has gradually become less sufficient as more people adopt electric vehicles and change their driving patterns. With our state’s economic prospects tied so closely to transportation, our leaders will need to create a transportation funding structure that incorporates more sustainable streams of revenue in order to fully support North Carolina’s post-pandemic economic recovery. The NC Chamber is leading its Destination 2030 Coalition, an alliance of more than 100 business organizations, in an effort to ensure job creators have a front-row seat at the transportation policy table in 2021 and beyond.

If you’d like to play a role in ensuring our state’s transportation infrastructure remains safe, reliable, and efficient for future generations, we invite you to join the Destination 2030 Coalition. Members of this growing coalition are leading a business-driven dialogue around modernized transportation solutions and playing a significant role in amplifying the importance of this issue to North Carolina’s elected leaders.