Ad Campaign Focuses On Infrastructure Investment | WAMU 88.5 - American University Radio

WAMU 88.5 : News

Filed Under:

Ad Campaign Focuses On Infrastructure Investment

Play associated audio

A transportation powerhouse based in Virginia is trying to ride into the presidential contest with a nationwide television advertising campaign.

Norfolk Southern is trying to spark a dialogue around the question of how to keep the nation's economy and infrastructure growing. The advertisement shows a boy falling asleep in his bedroom, while his toys come to life, creating a thriving city that his train set races around.

Norfolk Southern is launching the ad to coincide with the Republican and Democratic National Conventions. The railroad is trying to focus more attention on the benefits of freight rail and all infrastructure investments.

The American Society of Civil Engineers estimates it will take $2.2 trillion over 5 years to modernize all infrastructures, from levees and dams to highways and bridges. The federal government's primary funding source for transportation projects is the gas tax, but there appears little chance it will be raised.

Gas tax revenues and receipts have been lagging behind what we want to spend on transportation at the federal level.

Rachel MacCleery, a transportation expert at the Urban Land Institute in Washington, says there doesn't appear to be any desire to increase the gas tax, which was last raised in 1993.

The Obama administration, early in the administration, has taken the gas tax off the table.

With funding for projects tight, states like Virginia are turning to public private partnerships to build major highways, to be paid for by charging tolls.

"One of the points Norfolk Southern likes to make is that they invest in their own infrastructure and maintain their own infrastructure," says Jim Lansbury, creative director at Norfolk Southern's ad agency, RP3. "Something like 40 percent of every dollar goes into maintaining their railroads and right of way. Airlines don't build airports and trucking companies don't build highways."

NPR

Edison's Talking Dolls Can Now Provide The Soundtrack To Your Nightmares

Thomas Edison built and sold about 500 dolls back in 1890. Now, new technology has made hearing their supercreepy voices possible for the first time in decades. (Thanks, technology.)
NPR

Tea Tuesdays: Butter Up That Tea, Tibetan-Style

Yak butter tea is often referred to as the national drink of Tibet. It's been consumed in the Himalayas for centuries and helped inspire the Bulletproof Coffee craze in the U.S.
NPR

Clinton 'War Room' Pushback And The 'Invent Your Own' Media Campaign

The Clinton campaign went into overdrive Tuesday trying to minimize the damage from a new book that delves into Clinton Foundation fundraising — and it's not using the typical channels to do so.
NPR

Edison's Talking Dolls Can Now Provide The Soundtrack To Your Nightmares

Thomas Edison built and sold about 500 dolls back in 1890. Now, new technology has made hearing their supercreepy voices possible for the first time in decades. (Thanks, technology.)

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.