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NAPTA Helps Nurture Local Transit Coalition Support

How can local coalitions enhance their effectiveness as advocates for the advancement of accessible, sustainable and affordable transit systems in communities across the country? The answer forms the core focus of the National Alliance for Public Transportation Advocates (NAPTA).

NAPTA is the national coalition of grassroots public transit coalitions, grassroots transit rider organizations and advocates who understand the importance of local transit investments in improving mobility and generating local economic activity.

Each year, NAPTA hosts its annual meeting and advocacy day in conjunction with APTA’s Legislative Conference. With infrastructure investment on the congressional ­calendar this year, NAPTA’s meeting, March 20 from 11:30 a.m.–1 p.m., provides an opportunity for grassroots coalitions to mobilize and connect.

Attendees will learn how to successfully communicate the importance of increased public transit funding, discuss ways to leverage this year’s midterm elections and infrastructure bill to benefit public transportation and how APTA’s Local Transit Coalition Grant Program can support efforts to achieve public transportation goals.

Attendees will receive an update of pending federal transit issues, including FY 2018 and FY 2019 appropriations bills, the precarious situation of the federal Highway Trust Fund and Mass Transit Account and the particular threat to Capital Investment Grants.

Participants will hear about resources available to members including the APTA coalition grant program, which provides grants to help energize grassroots advocacy efforts. The program funds activities including both public education programs and advocacy efforts. Many of this year’s grants supported a local transit ballot initiative and national efforts to protect federal surface transportation programs.

The NAPTA website also offers a number of resources to help coalitions support public transit, including information on ways to grow a coalition, reach out to local elected officials, build consensus among diverse stakeholders and work with the media.

Last year, NAPTA partnered with like-minded but non-traditional partners within the walkability community to create the Transit-Walkability Collaborative (TWC). The TWC consists of nine organizations focused on promoting the benefits of walkable, public transit-rich communities and policies that simultaneously expand walkability and transit services in local communities. Several upcoming webinars and events are being planned to stimulate interest and discussion about the coordination of walkability and transit campaigns.

All APTA Legislative Conference attendees with an interest in increased investment in public transit are encouraged to attend NAPTA’s annual meeting! We invite you to share information on local, pro-transit coalitions in your region and how they might engage with NAPTA. For more information and to join NAPTA, please visit the website.
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