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March 8, 1999

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This enhanced commitment to easing traffic congestion and improving transportation information and options can make a real difference in people's everyday lives. It will help us to build more livable communities, where we can spend less time in traffic and more time with our children, our spouses and friends.

Vice President Al Gore
March 8, 1999

Today at the White House, Vice President Al Gore will announce the launch of a major new effort to help communities across the country address traffic congestion and road safety. The Vice President's announcement of the Administration's support for a national three-digit telephone number where all Americans could receive on-the-spot transportation and traveler information and a commuter choice initiative to allow employers to offer their employees the choice of taxable cash or tax-exempt parking, transit, or carpool/vanpool benefits, will be made at Presidential Hall, with Transportation Secretary Rodney Slater and traffic reporters from around the country. In addition, the Vice President will be presented with a report on aggressive driving.

Easing Traffic Congestion, Increasing Commuting Options. At today's event, the Vice President will build on the Clinton-Gore Administration's Livability Agenda, announced in January, to provide communities with new tools and resources to preserve green spaces, ease traffic congestion, and pursue regional "smart growth" strategies. The Vice President will:

  • Announce the Administration's support for a new, national three-digit number to provide travelers with current information on bad weather, construction delays, or traffic jams in their area. This number would also provide information about the status of transit buses, light rail, ferries, and other public transportation in local communities. By directing drivers away from congestion and hazards, the number would also provide better access for emergency vehicles responding to accidents. This new number would be provided by private companies or public/private partnerships already delivering this service.
  • Launch the Clinton-Gore Administration's commuter choice initiative which will implement and make available provisions in last year's transportation law that expand an employer's ability to offer employees taxable or non-taxable transportation benefits. This provision will provide increased pre-tax transportation options for commuters, and reduced payroll taxes for many employers. With commuter choice, employers could offer up to $240 a month in cash and tax incentives for workers who carpool, vanpool, use mass transit, or bike or walk to work;
  • Announce that the Administration will hold the first-ever series of regional transportation livability summits over the next year. These meetings, to be held in cities across the nation, will each focus on a different issue related to livable communities and safe transportation.

Targeting Aggressive Driving, Working Toward Solutions. At today's event, a report by the non-profit Surface Transportation Policy Project, Aggressive Driving, will be presented to Vice President Gore. The report, the first look at aggressive driving rates by local areas and potential factories influencing such rates, found that the risk of dying in an aggressive driving crash may be higher in places with fewer travel choices and with greater suburban sprawl. The Administration, through the Department of Transportation, will undertake more in-depth statistical research on this matter.

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