The deterioration of our roads, highways and bridges has reached a tipping point, not just in South Florida but nationwide. Maintaining our infrastructure is critical for long-term success for any company that relies on a transportation network to conduct business.
Because drivers are compensated for their time on the roads, delivery costs go up. More wear-and-tear on vehicles due to poor road conditions also increases operating expenses. The end result is that companies pay more to transport goods and those costs are inevitably passed on to the consumer in the form of higher prices.
One report by the American Society of Civil Engineers, "Failure to Act: The Economic Impact of Current Investment Trends in Surface Transportation Infrastructure," states that in 2010 alone, "the poor condition of our highways, railroads, bridges, and transit systems cost $130 billion. This sum represents the higher operating costs of running vehicles on poor facilities, the expense of damages to vehicles inflicted by crumbling infrastructure, the value of the time wasted by travelers, and the added cost of repairing or replacing facilities after they have deteriorated or collapsed, rather than maintaining them in good condition." (http://www.America2050.org)
One of the inherent limitations is there are a finite number of roads that exist and we can only pave and widen so much. So, how can we do more? One strategy that can make a significant impact is to support mass transit. Less cars on the road will reduce pollution, decrease highway maintenance costs and ultimately save consumers time and money.
One initiative that I believe will make a difference in our region is All Aboard Florida, an intercity passenger rail project being developed by Florida East Coast Industries, LLC (FECI). The project will connect Miami to Orlando with intermediate stations in Fort Lauderdale and West Palm Beach.
Stay tuned for future posts on the transportation issues that impact your business and your customers.