U.S. Transportation Secretary stops in Birmingham on bus tour - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

U.S. Transportation Secretary stops in Birmingham on bus tour

The transportation secretary is on a week-long tour that will take him through eight states. Source: Melanie Posey/WBRC The transportation secretary is on a week-long tour that will take him through eight states. Source: Melanie Posey/WBRC
U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx speaks at the site of the future Birmingham Intermodal Facility. Source: Melanie Posey/WBRC U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx speaks at the site of the future Birmingham Intermodal Facility. Source: Melanie Posey/WBRC
BIRMINGHAM, AL (WBRC) -

U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx stopped in Birmingham on Wednesday as part of a national tour he's taking by bus.

Foxx is traveling through eight states as part of a weeklong "Invest in America, Commit to the Future" tour, promoting the importance of investing in transportation.

On Wednesday, he arrived on a MAXX transit bus, along with Birmingham mayor William Bell and several other local leaders.

Foxx spoke at the construction site of Birmingham's future Intermodal Facility, which is near the original intermodal facility. His main focus: The dwindling Highway Trust Fund, which is says is set to run out of money by late summer.

"Transportation is not a partisan issue, you show me a Democratic or Republican pothole. A Democratic or Republican bus, car, train. It doesn't exist. All of us use our transportation system," he said.

Foxx touted the President's $300 billion propsol that would use gas tax money couple with business tax reforms.

If a deal isn't struck, Foxx says it would impact nearly 700,000 jobs immediately, as well as transportation improvement projects that are set to get started.

"We can't stop ourselves in our tracks. We can't stop America from growing. We can't stop things like your intermodal facility. That's where the future is," Foxx said.

The new intermodal facility is expected to be finished in 2015. It will be a hub for Birmingham's MAX bus service, Amtrak and intercity buses.

The Federal Transit Administration is contributing about $24 million toward the $30 million cost, according to the Dept. of Transportation.

Birmingham Mayor William Bell says the funding isn't just about public transportation, but growing all forms of transportation.

"Without that, we won't be able to compete. So it's important to have the funding we need to move our city forward," Bell said.

After leaving Birmingham, Secretary Foxx was headed to Gallion, Ala.

Copyright 2014 WBRC. All rights reserved.

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