Recognizing National Defense Transportation Day
Friday, May 19, 2023, was declared National Defense Transportation Day by President Joe Biden. The day, recognized since 1957, celebrates the efforts made by American workers who build our infrastructure and bolster our national security.
National Defense Transportation Day originated a year after the Federal-Aid Highway Act was signed by President Dwight D. Eisenhower. The intention was to recognize those who built America's interstate highway system to support the rapid movement of service members, and defense supplies and equipment.
This year, President Biden promoted the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law as part of National Defense Transportation Day. The Bipartisan Infrastrcture Law is the largest investment in public transit, and will improve subways and commuter rail, replace diesel school buses with electric, and create a national network of electric vehicle charging stations, among other projects.
Transportation has developed beyond what President Eisenhower invisioned, before the concept of transportation demand management (TDM) existed. These days, ACT members work closely with military bases around the country to support service members and others traveling to and from them on a daily basis.
One example is the work done by Pierce County, in Tacoma, WA, in partnership with Joint Base Lewis-McChord. Joint Base Lewis-McChord has approximately 150,000 daily trips through the gates, making TDM programs an important part of base life. In 2018, Pierce County assisted JBLM in developing their TDM Program called GO Lewis-McChord. This successful and robust program includes GO Transit, GO Bike (a bikeshare program), Go Vanpool, as well are ongoing outreach. The JBLM Go Transit Shuttle had just over 65,000 riders in 2022, and is holding steady around 5,000 a month this year. In addition to the shuttle, there are 52 vanpools being run between Pierce Transit and Intercity Transit - Intercity Transit is currently working on its 37th vanpool for JBLM!
We join with President Biden in appreciating those who like Pierce County and Intercity Transit who manage TDM programs that support trips made by service members, in addition to those who operate the public transportation systems that move people more efficiently and more sustainably. Thank you for all you do!