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Transportation for America Updates
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Transportation for America Partners,

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Regional Calls

ALL calls will be on Thursday, September 25th

Northeast: 11am EDT
(ME, NH, VT, MA, CT, RI, NY, NJ, PA, DE)

South: 1pm EDT
(VA, MD, WV, NC, TN, SC, GA, AL, FL, MS, LA, AR, KY)

Midwest: 3pm EDT
(OH, IN, MI, IL, WI, MN, IA, MO, ND, SD, KS, OK)

West: 4pm EDT
(TX, NM, CO, WY, MT, ID, UT, AZ, NV, CA, WA, OR, HI, AK)

Conference Code: 5102688602

Transportation for America is hiring. Do you know someone who might be interested in one of these opportunities? Pass the word along.

Senior Research Assoc.
National Organizer


Thanks again for signing on to become a partner in the campaign. Over the last several weeks, we've been working to finalize the campaign's policy recommendations, as well as develop materials and research that will help our coalition push transportation reform.

We'd like to schedule a call with our partners by region to both update you on the latest campaign happenings, find out more about you and your region, and find opportunities to work together. See the times at right for the Sep. 25 calls by region. We'd like to make this a regular twice a month call to check in, get updates, and share intelligence or relevant info.

Sep. 25 Regional Calls Agenda:

I'm also including a transportation update below, which we'll be sending out every other week. Let us know if you ever have updates or resources to include in these! Looking forward to talking to you soon.

Ilana Preuss
Director of Campaign Partnerships
202-207-3355 x32

Suggestions for the Transportation for America update? Please contact me at the address above.

I.  Updates from Capitol Hill

Transportation for America Urges Support for Transit Measures in Economic Stimulus Legislation

As both the Senate and the House begin to draft economic stimulus packages, Transportation for America urged the Senate to include a series of transit provisions in the legislation. In a letter of support to Senator Chris Dodd (D-CT), chairman of the Senate Banking Committee, the campaign supported expanded transit funding, including: $300 million in additional New Starts funding, which would jumpstart transit capital investments, $200 million to assist transit agencies in boosting energy efficiency, and $1 billion in formula funding to address the backlog of maintenance needs and accommodate ridership increases through increased service.

As part of an economic stimulus package, an increase in transit investment would help accomplish important national priorities, including addressing climate change, decreasing our dependence on foreign oil, and boosting our economic competitiveness.  Stimulus packages could be passed as soon as later this month and are likely to include billions of dollars for infrastructure funding.

Senate Banking Committee Hearing on Transit and Reducing Fuel Consumption

On September 9th, the Senate Banking Committee held a hearing on reducing dependence on foreign oil through transit investment.  Senator Hillary Clinton (D-NY) testified on her bill, the Saving Energy Through Public Transportation Act (S.3380), the Senate companion to legislation of the same name introduced in the House by Representative James Oberstar (D-MN), which was passed on June 26. This bill would provide $1.7 billion to transit providers over the next two years to ensure that service can keep pace with rapidly increasing ridership numbers in the wake of rising fuel prices and potential budget shortfalls.

Bill Millar, President of the American Public Transportation Association (APTA), Rob Puentes, Director of the Metropolitan Infrastructure Initiative at the Brookings Institution, and Dorothy Dugger, General Manager of the San Francisco Bay Area Rapid Transit District (BART) also testified  on the effectiveness of transportation alternatives and transit-supportive land uses as a tool in reducing fuel consumption and carbon emissions.

Highway Trust Fund Bailout Moves to President's Desk

With the Highway Trust Fund officially going bankrupt this week, the Senate and House approved a measure to transfer $8 billion from the general fund to the Highway fund. In a reversal of a previous veto threat, USDOT Secretary Mary Peters has said that the Administration now supports the measure, which awaits President Bush's signature. The Highway Trust Fund is primarily funded via gas tax revenues, which have been on the decline as fuel prices increase and overall driving in the United States decreases. USDOT had previously proposed propping up the Fund by transferring money from the transit account.

II. Transportation For America in the Media

Transportation for America Policy Director Mariia Zimmerman appeared on Minnesota Public Radio to talk about a proposed light-rail extension in Minneapolis, while Communications Director David Goldberg discussed California's new anti-sprawl bill on the NPR show "Marketplace." Goldberg said that the new bill "is a way to ensure that future economic growth can actually happen, because the existing model -- the car dependent model -- is starting to unravel."

Natural Resources Defense Council and League of Conservation Voters were highlighted in the New York Times and the Washington Post for their support of the California anti-sprawl bill, while the Apollo Alliance also received press in the Times for its staff members' commitment to reduce their own carbon footprints while working to promote green jobs and clean energy.

Among local, state, and regional partners of the Transportation for American campaign, Dave Van Hattum of Transit for Livable Communities was interviewed for an article on the expansion of public transportation in Missoula, Montana, and Central Maryland Transportation Alliance President Otis Rolley III traveled to Denver during the Democratic National Convention to see what lessons in transportation his own city of Baltimore could learn from rapidly-growing Denver.

III. New Resources

Polling Information on Transportation: Compiled from AARP, ABC, and other polls over the last few months. (PDF)

Effects of Transit-Oriented Developments on Housing, Parking, and Travel, from the Transit Cooperative Research Program: This report reveals that transit-oriented development does, in fact, reduce car trips. (PDF)

Reducing Health Care Costs Through Prevention, from the Prevention Institute: New report that includes making communities more walkable as a prevention strategy against health problems. (PDF)

Rising Fuel Costs: Impacts on Transit Ridership and Agency Operations, from the American Public Transportation Association: This new survey shows that transit trips are surging, yet high fuel prices are severely impacting public transportation systems' budgets across the nation. The survey reveals that of the public transit systems reporting capacity problems, six out of ten (63 percent) are experiencing capacity problems during the peak period.

Putting America's Transportation System on Track, from the Progressive Policy Institute: This report finds that a $10 billion investment in high speed rail would create 40,000 construction jobs and 112,500 permanent jobs, more jobs dollar-for-dollar than the number that would be created by Congress' proposed stimulus legislation.


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