As Brookings Now prepares to take a break for Thanksgiving, here are highlights of recent Brookings research on transportation: planes, trains, automobiles and infrastructure.
- Kenan Fikri and Mark Muro examine the innovative and complex automotive supplier industry, which they say is nearly four times the size of the motor vehicle manufacturing complex.
- Clifford Winston examines the performance of the U.S. transportation system overall, and notes that spending on it amounts to 17 percent of GDP. Data from the report explain how Americans get to work:
- Robert Puentes testified to the Joint Economic Committee on ways the federal government can invest in infrastructure despite strained resources.
- Memphis, Pittsburgh, St, Louis and Las Vegas have lost their airline-assigned “hub” status since 2000. Adie Tomer looked at the consequences for consumers of fewer mid-sized hubs and fewer airlines servicing the commercial aviation sector.
- Puentes also testified to key House committees that oversee rail on Amtrak’s financial and operational performance, highlighting the new and emerging partnerships between the federal government, Amtrak, and the states.
- Bill Galston reviewed data on America’s crumbling infrastructure and its enduring costs.
[On decarbonizing the heavy transport industry and the shift to electric delivery vehicles for e-commerce] The last-mile delivery is actually a fairly easy usage to electrify. It also has monetary advantages. The vehicles are used really heavily — on the road every day, running around all day — and electricity is a cheaper fuel than gasoline or diesel. Those vehicles are likely to be more expensive up front, but they’re also likely to pay for themselves.