Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg talks future of transit in Nevada

Pete Buttigieg
Posted at 10:08 AM, Apr 09, 2021
and last updated 2021-04-09 13:14:26-04

LAS VEGAS (KTNV) — You’ve probably noticed by now, the roads are getting busier and busier as we emerge from the pandemic.

Some of them are as bumpy and rim-rattling as ever.

President Biden is trotting out a major new initiative, but big plans cost big bucks, and some say it’s time to pump the brakes on that kind of spending.

It’s a bureaucratic sounding word: infrastructure. But break it down, and it’s roads, rails, and bridges… the things we all have in common. It's how we get from here to there. Right now, the stakes, along with the price tag are as high as ever.

"There's no time like now to be working on issues like transportation and infrastructure," said Buttigieg.

Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg says he he’s thrilled to be “all in” on travel improvements from coast to coast.

In this case, it’s a wager of more than 2-trillion dollars, this on the heels of an almost equally expensive economic recovery plan.

Buttigieg talked about how Biden's new Job's Plan will benefit areas that are ever-changing like Vegas.

"You're going to see resources that are going to make a huge difference in Las Vegas. I would point to the dollars for roads and highway's, upgrading twenty thousand miles of roads and highways in the U.S. and that will certainly make a difference in places like Nevada," said Buttigieg.

Critics are quick to point out, the money has to come from somewhere. That means taxes.

"The president has insisted that any plan put forward by this administration, does not involve raising any taxes on anybody making less than $400,000 a year. But it turns out, just by resetting corporate taxes to a normal level, not even a high level, just a normal level, it's actually lower than it's been in most of our lifetimes, 28 percent," said Buttigieg.

Buttigieg also says now’s the time to get serious about cleaner modes of transit, "Whether it's making it easier to bike to where you're going, or whether it's some of these more futuristic ideas, or just a good ol' fashion train or subway option, or a good bus".

If the president gets his way, our area could see a drastic change, specifically when it comes to a rail system stretching into California.

"When you think about the tourism economy, in Las Vegas, when you think about the value of connecting the southwest better, there's a ton of opportunity for passenger rail, and it's one of the reasons why the $80 million dollars in President Biden's job's plan, for things like passenger rail is going to make a big difference and be good news for the southwest," said Buttigieg.

Next stop, are negotiations, as Biden and Buttigieg will navigate the push-back and opposition, hoping to find a way to get this proposal into cruise control.