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APTA Pushes for Full Federal Funding; Key Message: Transit Vital to Economy
As policy makers react to President Donald Trump’s recently released “skinny budget” that recommends a 13 percent cut in DOT programs for FY 2018, APTA continues to build a strong case that the FAST Act must be fully funded for FY 2017 and 2018 and 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 Acting President & CEO 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.”
This message was reinforced by APTA’s new research, Who Rides Public Transportation, which found that 87 percent of all transit trips have a direct impact on local economies, with 49 percent for traveling to and from work, 21 percent for shopping and 17 percent are for recreational spending.
“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.
APTA’s recent advocacy actions include more than 60 meetings between White and members of the Government Affairs team with congressional staff, focusing on those that serve on budget, appropriations, tax and authorization committees, and other proactive steps to engage with members of Congress.
APTA encourages 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.
“While we had a successful week of advocacy in Washington, it is paramount that we redouble our efforts. The fast-approaching spring congressional recess provides the perfect opportunity to meet with your members of Congress,” stated APTA’s most recent Legislative Alert, adding that members of Congress are scheduled to be in their home districts April 8-23.
Stay up to date with APTA’s advocacy efforts, its toolkit, Legislative Alerts, and Who Rides Public Transportation here.