Florida is breaking records when it comes to transportation and infrastructure. In the aftermath of Hurricane Ian, missing bridges were reconstructed in days. After Hurricane Nicole, destroyed roads were rebuilt in just hours.
Across the Sunshine State, there are more than 123,000 miles of public roads. On average, more than 312 million miles are traveled across the state highway system every day. As Florida attracts more residents and visitors, these numbers continue to grow.
How can we manage the system and prepare for the future while continuing to respond to and recover from disasters in record time? Deloitte’s new report on trends in transportation offers some insight.
States have received an influx of investment in infrastructure from the federal level. The 2021 Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA) and the 2022 Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) “increase spending close to New Deal-era levels,” according to the report. “This generation-defining infusion of federal funding is intended to reverse decades of inadequate investment and to modernize major facets of the nation’s transportation system, ranging from funding and finance to energy sources and design specifications.”
Despite the infusion of cash, the nation’s transportation system faces significant challenges that must be addressed. It will require all stakeholders to work together to adjust to current realities while planning for the future.
According to Deloitte, there are five trends driving the conversation in transportation:
— Creating a sustainable funding mechanism for America’s transportation system
— EVs usher in a generational shift in mobility
— Modernizing America’s transportation system in an inclusive, equitable way
— Making America’s transportation network more resilient
— Turbocharging digital and technology innovation
Here in Florida, there’s a laser focus on resiliency.
While many states recognize that the evolving climate poses threats to transportation infrastructure, Florida feels it in a very real way. When sea levels rise, city roads in Coral Gables are underwater. With every hurricane that comes our way, islands are at risk of being cut off from the mainland.
According to Deloitte, “increasing the resiliency of the transportation system will require significant innovations in infrastructure design and maintenance, coupled with a more data-driven approach to prioritizing investment decisions.”
EVs are also a part of the conversation.
When it comes to electric vehicles, Florida has the second-largest share of electric vehicles in the nation. More than 58,000 EVs were registered in Florida in 2020, which was a 64% increase over the previous year. Former Sen. Jeff Brandes made it a priority to create an EV-friendly legal climate in Florida.
The expansion of EVs on the roads is a generational shift in transportation. But it also requires an extensive charging infrastructure.
“With the U.S. market on the cusp of an EV expansion, transportation leaders and ecosystem partners should focus on solving the EV charging infrastructure problem and addressing a potential talent crunch in the EV market,” states the Deloitte Insights report.
To dive into Deloitte’s insights on transportation trends, visit deloitte.com.