3 ways Biden's infrastructure bill will transform America in the next 10 years

Democrats finally passed the first part of President Joe Biden's ambitious infrastructure package late Friday night. 

The $1 trillion infrastructure bill — with $550 billion in new spending — passed after a contentious showdown, buoyed by votes from over a dozen Republican lawmakers. Centrists held up the intended in-tandem passage of Biden's social spending framework, leading six notable progressives to vote against the bipartisan bill.

Shortly after its passage, Biden hailed it as a "gamechanger in half a dozen ways" but one of those holdout progressives, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, slammed the president for celebrating a job that she considers only half done, as she pushes for passage of the $1.75 trillion Build Back Better bill.

So who's right? 

Well, almost every American uses some form of infrastructure every day, and the bipartisan package aims to improve infrastructure across the board with some dramatically new features like a huge expansion of electric-vehicle charging stations and high-speed internet. By 2032, Americans will feel a difference in their commutes, their homes, and even their built environment, even if it's just a repaved highway or rebuilt bridge that has invisible, cutting-edge protections against the climate crisis built in.

Here's how the infrastructure bill will change your life in 10 years' time.

Drive — and charge — your electric car anywhere

In 10 years, driving an electric car will be a whole lot easier.

That's because the infrastructure bill makes major headway in urging vehicle owners — and makers — to go electric. With $7.5 billion toward building a network of EV chargers across the country, the bill addresses one of the biggest issues for drivers — safe and accessible charging stations.

In 2032, that means that the days of panic hunting for a charger will be in the past. Instead of scrambling to find chargers on long journeys, or using apps to hunt one down, you'll be able to plug in with ease at 500,000 new charging stations that will be built using infrastructure funds

Your kids' school bus will be electric, too: The bill allocates $5 billion toward lower-emission and electric school buses. 

GM has warned owners of its Chevrolet Bolt EV to park it outside and avoid charging it unattended overnight due to the fire risk
Yalonda M. James/The San Francisco Chronicle via Getty Images

You'll take better transit, including a lot more Amtrak

America's train system is about to get a whole lot more usable.

The infrastructure package includes $66 billion for investments in Amtrak, which will help eliminate Amtrak's maintenance backlog, modernize existing train lines, and create new lines including Los Angeles-to-Las Vegas and a Phoenix-to-Tucson service. The investment is "more funding than we've had in our 50 years of history combined," Amtrak CEO Bill Flynn told Axios in an interview.

The bill also contains $39 billion for modernizing public transit and expanding current systems. The White House says that there's a "multibillion-dollar repair backlog" for thousands of public transit vehicles; the new funding means it will be rarer to catch a rickety train or bus again.

Tom Werner/Getty Images

Invisible but huge improvements to quality of life

Weekend walks, bottled-quality tap water, and roads and bridges that should withstand an increasingly hectic climate: Arguably the greatest improvements to everyday life from the infrastructure bill will be essentially invisible.

The plan allocates $105 billion to upgrade water infrastructure across the US. Roughly $55 billion will go toward clean water projects like removing lead from drinking water and addressing contamination, with the remainder meant to make water infrastructure more resilient to cyberattacks and natural disasters. It means restaurants' tap water will be indistinguishable from the bottled stuff.

Your weekend walks will also smell better while being kinder to your immune system, too.

About $21 billion is slated for "environmental remediation," cleaning energy sites that have polluted surrounding land and risk serious health problems for those living nearby. The ugly haze that hung over your city since you arrived should slowly fade away. The package also sets aside funding for phasing out diesel buses and introducing electric alternatives, and cutting down on air pollution from major transport hubs like ports and airports. Walking out of an airport, it will smell less like taxis and buses and more like, well, air.

The most invisible improvement will be faster Internet service, with $65 billion going toward broadband . As Axios reports, that funding is broken down into buckets like grants for states, construction of broadband in rural areas, and internet vouchers for low-income people. If you've been unable to afford it, the bill will give new $30 monthly vouchers for it.

A lot of the rest of the impact remains to be determined, since your local mayor will have a lot of say over how that spending will play out in your hometown. If there's something you think your city needs, now's a good time to call City Hall.

These invisible aspects of the bill could make it politically hard for Democrats to take advantage of in the near term, but they're welcome. After all, former President Donald Trump promised an "Infrastructure Week" for four years that never came, and most Democrats and about a dozen Republicans have now delivered on that promise.