Wednesday, March 29, 2017

APTA calls for full project funding of "vital" transit

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The American Public Transportation Association called on the Trump Administration to fully fund the FAST Act for fiscal 2017 and 2018, and said public transit must be part of the administration’s proposed $1 trillion infrastructure investment.

“The American economy and communities of all sizes would be losers if the proposed reductions in the FTA Capital Investment Grants, the TIGER [grant] program, and Amtrak are enacted,” said APTA Acting President andChief Executive Richard A. White. “As it stands now, America is already underinvesting in public transportation, as noted in the recently released American Society of Civil Engineers infrastructure report card. These proposed cuts would make the existing $90 billion of state of good repair gap even worse.”

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The administration in its first budget proposal cut funding for Department of Transportation projects by 13%.

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In a new research report, “Who Rides Public Transportation, APTA found that 87% of all transit trips have a direct impact on local economies, with 49% for traveling to and from work, 21% for shopping and 17% for recreational spending.
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“Public transit trips are integral to the engine that powers America’s economy by connecting riders to employers and to retail and entertainment venues,” White said.
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APTA said White and its Government Affairs team has recently held more than 60 meetings with congressional staff, focusing on those that serve on budget, appropriations, tax and authorization committees, and taken other proactive steps to engage with members of Congress.
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The group encouraged its members to contact their elected leaders to emphasize the importance of federal public transportation in strengthening local and the national economies, advocate for public transit’s continued growth and include public transit in all proposals to increase infrastructure investment.
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It called on members during the approaching spring congressional recess “to meet with your members of Congress,” scheduled to be in their home districts April 8-23.

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