August Newsletter
House to Vote on Infrastructure Bill by Sept. 27
On August 24, the House adopted a plan to vote on the Senate-passed Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA) by September 27. And in a statement, Speaker Pelosi announced her commitment to passing the bipartisan infrastructure bill, which includes a five-year reauthorization of surface transportation programs, by that date. This timeline is significant because the current authorization of federal highway and public transportation programs, the FAST Act, expires on September 30.

The September 27 date is a compromise between moderate Democrats, who sought an immediate vote on the IIJA, and progressive Democrats, who want to pass a separate $3.5 trillion budget reconciliation package that includes “soft infrastructure“ before taking up the bipartisan infrastructure bill.
Biden Calls for Half of New Vehicles to be Electric by 2030
Earlier this month, President Biden unveiled a plan to make U.S. cars and light trucks more fuel-efficient and to shift to higher production of electric vehicles over the coming decade.

As part of the plan, President Biden signed an Executive Order that sets an ambitious goal that half of all new vehicles sold in 2030 be zero-emissions vehicles, including battery electric, plug-in hybrid, or fuel cell electric vehicles.

The country's Big Three automakers General Motors Co., Ford Motor Co., and Stellantis announced in a joint statement a “shared aspiration” to increase sales of battery electric, fuel cell, and plug-in hybrid vehicles in this country. Their stated target is for these alternative-fuel vehicles to account for between 40 and 50 percent of annual U.S. volume by 2030.

“Our recent product, technology, and investment announcements highlight our collective commitment to be leaders in the U.S. transition to electric vehicles,” reads the statement from the three automakers. But they also point out in the statement that transforming the U.S. market is only possible with “the timely deployment of the full suite of electrification policies,” investments in R&D and charging stations, and manufacturing and consumer incentives.

Currently, about 3 percent of the vehicles on the road are electric. The information and analytics company, IHS Markit, predicts EV sales will increase to 3.5 percent this year and be more than 10 percent by 2025.

Another part of Biden's plan is a reversal of President Trump’s freeze on fuel-efficiency standards. The EPA aims for an average of 52 miles per gallon for new passenger cars and trucks by 2026.
Wisconsin Transportation News
Steve Baas Named WTBA Executive Director
Congratulations to Steve Baas, who has been named executive director of the Wisconsin Transportation Builders Association (WTBA). Baas currently serves as senior vice president of government affairs for the Metropolitan Milwaukee Association of Commerce (MMAC) and has led MMAC's government relations efforts since 2005. Steve assumes his new WTBA role on September 7.

Pat Goss, who served as WTBA's executive director from 2007-2021, is the new executive director of the Southeast Wisconsin Professional Baseball Park District. We thank Pat for his support of TDA and the transportation industry and wish him the best.

For more news around the state, take a look at TDA's About TIME publication.

Illinois-based Arntzen Corporation, a manufacturer of large diameter rolled and welded steel casing pipe, will build a $10 million, 78,000 square foot plant in the Village of Sharon in Walworth County. An essential element to this manufacturing site is a new 1,100-foot rail spur to connect the facility to the Union Pacific Railroad and enable the company to transport needed steel plates efficiently. A WisDOT Transportation Economic Assistance (TEA) grant will provide $200,000 of the rail spur project’s $630,000 cost.
Other Transportation News
2021 Regional Transit Leadership Council
Fall Symposium
Tuesday, September 28
8:00 a.m. to noon
Brookfield Conference Center

Join the Regional Transit Leadership Council for the latest efforts in workforce mobility in southeastern Wisconsin, including its groundbreaking work in finding solutions to the “last mile” problem. Start your morning by riding the "last mile" shuttle to the meeting. Then hear from WEDC Secretary and CEO Missy Hughes and other state, regional, and county leaders about the region's economy and critical links between it and the future of transportation.

Click here for more information and to register.
Southeast Wisconsin Transportation Symposium
The University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee Institute for Physical Infrastructure and Transportation and the Wisconsin Department of Transportation present:

2021 Southeast Wisconsin Transportation Symposium
Friday, October 8
8:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.
UWM Student Union

This symposium brings academics, students, and practitioners together to network and share information on topics of interest to transportation professionals in southeastern Wisconsin and beyond. Presenters will showcase practical applications of transportation-related academic research and share innovative practices.

Click here for event details and to register.
TDA Outreach
TDA Podcast: Connecting Workers to Jobs
Just about anywhere you go today, you will see help wanted signs. This labor shortage predates the pandemic, but the events of the last year (or so) certainly exacerbated the issue.

Dave Steele, executive director of the Regional Transit Leadership Council, joins TDA's Debby Jackson on the latest episode of the On The Go podcast. The two discuss the Council's plan to help workers fill in the "last mile" between public transit and jobs in the Milwaukee area, expanding the pool of possible employees and connecting people to jobs.

Listen to the podcast here.
Association News
TDA Welcomes New Member
Fort Atkinson is a community of more than 12,000 located in central Jefferson County. The Fort is known for its strong values, dedicated work ethic, and small-town decency. As a growing community, the City of Fort Atkinson has a diverse workforce and economic opportunities.
Thanks to Our Organizational Sponsors
TDA Events
2021 Annual Meeting - Tuesday, November 16
Other Upcoming Events
Freight Rail Day - Wednesday, October 13 at the Madison Club