Democracy Awards


Summary of Position

As the former Chairman of the California State Assembly and Senate transportation committees, and now current member of the House Committee on Transportation & Infrastructure (T&I), Congressman DeSaulnier knows firsthand how important clean, safe, and efficient transportation systems are to a dynamic and innovative California economy. Mark is fighting for the federal investments needed to improve traffic congestion and improve commutes in places like the Bay Area as well as for better planning that engages with the business community and incorporates new, innovative ideas and technologies for improving mobility.

By the Numbers

  • $160 billion is lost to congestion per year.
  • The U.S. must invest nearly $200 billion annually to address our roadway and bridge conditions.
  • The U.S. faces an $836 billion backlog in capital investment needs for our highways and bridges.
  • More than 37,000 lives were lost on our roadways in 2016.
  • Similarly, our transit systems continue to endure $50 to $80 billion maintenance backlog.
  • Freight volumes are expected to increase by more than 40 percent by 2045.

Things to Know

  • Co-founded the Congressional Caucus war on Urban Regional Studies with T&I Ranking Member Peter DeFazio (D-OR) to discuss ideas for addressing the challenges facing urban metropolitan regions.
  • Voted in favor of the Fixing America's Surface Transportation (FAST) Act (H.R. 22), a five-year reauthorization of federal transportation investments.
  • Advocate for a new Southern Crossing of the San Francisco Bay with Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-CA)

Working for You 

Fighting for Critical Research Funding to Relieve Congestion
Mark led the effort to secure an additional $15 million for the University Transportation Centers program that supports research collaborations among academic institutions in developing innovative solutions to transportation challenges such as traffic congestion.

Driving Innovation in California
Mark authored the bipartisan Moving and Fostering Innovation to Revolutionize Smarter Transportation Act (or the “Moving FIRST Act”) (H.R. 3901), creating a grant program to incorporate new and innovative ideas that expand access and mobility for cities and their residents. Mark also secured $100 million in funding for research and development on autonomous vehicle technology, including for testing grounds like GoMentum Station in Contra Costa, whose work will help ensure autonomous vehicle technology is rigorously tested before entering the public.

Prioritizing Aviation & Highway Safety
In response to a series of close call incidents involving airplanes nearly landing on the wrong runway or taxiway as well as a recent increase in runway incidents at airports, Mark called on the U.S. Comptroller General’s office to review FAA’s work in addressing these concerns and is drafting legislation to further enhance safety. Mark also joined colleagues in introducing bipartisan legislation to require that large trucks be equipped with underride guards to prevent hundreds of highway fatalities each year.

Promoting New Technologies
Mark authored the Truck Technology Parity Act (H.R. 4421), a bipartisan bill to help trucks powered entirely by electric battery technology to compete alongside traditional diesel trucks.

For a downloadable copy of Mark's transportation work, click the image below: