Wednesday, March 12, 2014

APTA calls for $100 billion in transit investment

Written by  William C. Vantuono, Editor-in-Chief
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APTA President and CEO Michael
 Melaniphy APTA President and CEO Michael
At its 
2014 Legislative Conference, the American Public Transportation Association
(APTA) released its recommendations for authorization of the transportation 
bill that is set to expire at the end of September. The APTA plan calls on 
Congress to authorize a $100.4 billion federal transit program over six 
years, which would grow the current $10.7 billion annual program to $22.2 
billion by 2020.

In addition, APTA’s plan calls for a number of policy changes “that will ensure that the industry provides effective and
 efficient public transportation,” said APTA Chair Peter Varga, CEO of The Rapid transit system in 
Grand Rapids, Mich. “The industry has come together and developed a consensus recommendation
 that creates American jobs and addresses the growing demand for public
 transportation. Our future is riding on public transportation and we 
are moving forward to work with Congress to implement this plan that wil l
help our local communities grow.”

According to APTA, the return on investment of its recommendations will 
result in an additional 1.1 million jobs created or sustained annually, $66
 billion in business sales generated yearly, and $9.5 billion in local, state, and federal tax revenue generated each year. “That means for every $1 
communities invest in public transportation, approximately $4 is generated 
in economic returns,” said APTA President and CEO Michael
 Melaniphy. “This multi-modal plan we are recommending fosters community growth by 
driving economic development and revitalizes neighborhoods. Increasing investment in public 
transportation and roads is essential for growing our economy in the U.S. 
and remaining competitive in a global economy."

Some highlights of the APTA recommendations:

• Authorize a public transportation program that provides strong
 for no fewer than six years.

• Establish a new dedicated Trust Fund funding mechanism that
 existing dedicated revenues for the Highway Trust Fund and the Mass Transit Account.

• Restore the bus and bus facilities program to pre-MAP 21 levels in 

• Increase and balance federal capital investments in programs for 
 funding, new starts and extensions, state of good repair, and bus 
 bus facilities.

• Ensure existing public transportation infrastructure and facilities 
are maintained and updated through major capital investments in current
 future projects.

• Enact a robust and long-term program for investment in high speed
 intercity passenger rail.

In support of its recommendations to Congress, PTA also launched
 a new nationwide integrated outreach campaign called “Where Public
 Transportation Goes, Communities Grow.” It features research-based 
advertising, public relations and social media, as well as a digital
 grassroots outreach initiative.

Investment in public transportation infrastructure drives growth,” said
 Melaniphy. “It attracts development while increasing property values. It 
connects employers to employees, restaurants to diners, landlords to 
renters, and families to local stores. It provides a vital connection for 
people from all walks of life.”