The American Public Transportation Association (APTA) and a coalition of 45 industry partners sent letters calling on Congress and the Biden administration to invest an additional $ 10 billion in public transportation and high-speed rail under the Build Back Better Reconciliation Act .
The August 30 letters called on Congress and the government to return $ 10 billion, down from the $ 49 billion originally proposed by a bipartisan group of Senators and the White House in the original infrastructure package. The $ 49 billion in transit financing would have helped people get back into jobs, improve access to basic services and meet climate goals, the coalition letters said.
“These bold investments in public transport under the Build Back Better Act will enable us to fight climate change, advance justice, and meet the growing and evolving mobility needs of our communities,” said APTA President and CEO Paul P. Scoutelas. “Investing in public transport and high-speed trains will significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions, improve air quality and public health, and help transform our country’s transport network for a sustainable future. Public transport provides access to opportunities, including jobs, health care and education, that can help our communities meet the equality challenges they face. “
The coalition consisted of national associations representing a wide range of transport sectors, from public transport to high-speed trains, work, the environment, local government, mobility and construction interests.
The additional investment would open up new opportunities for working families and support economic growth in local and regional communities through reliable, safe bus, subway or train lines. Additional investments would help local and regional governments to cope with the climate crisis.
“Transit is one of the most important investments we can make to tackle racial inequality and tackle the climate crisis,” said Bianca Oden, a senior strategist at the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC). “Congress should make significant new investments to expand service, provide long overdue upgrades, and support jobs. Without the necessary support for transit, we are all worse off. “