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 funding for no fewer than six years.
• Establish a new dedicated Trust Fund funding mechanism that supplements 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 two years.
• Increase and balance federal capital investments in programs for formula funding, new starts and extensions, state of good repair, and bus and bus facilities.
• Ensure existing public transportation infrastructure and facilities are maintained and updated through major capital investments in current and future projects.
• Enact a robust and long-term program for investment in high speed and 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.”