By 2030, North Carolina is expected to add several million new residents. To prepare for this growth, we need a transportation network that can keep up. Unfortunately, it’s no secret that, here in North Carolina, we’ve had our share of challenges keeping transportation investments growing in step with our fast-growing state. Surging costs from historic storms, an inadequate revenue formula, and the COVID-19 pandemic have all contributed to our current transportation crisis.
Fortunately, the NC Chamber and NC Chamber Foundation are committed to solving this crisis. With the help of the NC Can’t Afford to Stop Coalition, we’ve been leading an effort to encourage state leaders to secure immediate and mid-range investment options for 2020 and 2021. Despite these successes, however, a larger question remains: How can we ensure North Carolina creates the modernized, diversified revenue stream we need to keep our roads, railways, ports, and airports well-funded over the next decade and beyond?
That question calls for a new coalition to help pave the way forward: Destination 2030: The Road to a Stronger Transportation Future. With this new initiative, the NC Chamber and our allies aim to build on the successes of the NC Can’t Afford to Stop Coalition by bringing together a broader alliance of businesses and business-minded organizations to push for the sustainable transportation solutions North Carolina needs.
Recently, the NC Chamber Foundation unveiled a new report on the state of transportation funding in North Carolina. Conducted on behalf of the Foundation by NC State’s Institute for Transportation Research and Education (ITRE), Modernizing North Carolina’s Infrastructure Through Sustainable and Diversified Revenue Streams identifies four of the most viable funding options we could use to secure a more sustainable revenue stream for our state. Going forward, the report will help inform the efforts of the Destination 2030 Coalition.
Our willingness to invest in our transportation network will directly impact our ability to continue growing high-quality jobs for communities across our state. As the NC Chamber government affairs team develops a new legislative agenda for the 2021-2022 session focused on forward-thinking transportation policy recommendations, Destination 2030 will provide the chorus of support we will need to encourage elected leaders to invest in our transportation future.