Congress poised to abandon transit
Not one cent dedicated to supporting public transit in Senate bill
Senate republicans have unveiled their $1 trillion economic stimulus plan and not a single dollar is dedicated to supporting transit or Amtrak.
This is unacceptable. Without action now some of the hardest-hit transit agencies won't be able to recover, even if transit is included in a fourth stimulus package.
Along with dozens of cities, mayors, and organizations, we have been calling on Congress to allocate at least $13 billion to help sustain the most critically endangered transit systems reeling from unprecedented ridership declines topping 75, 80, or even 90 percent. But transit agencies will likely need more. As local economies come to a halt, sales tax revenues are also drying up. With huge losses in fare and tax revenue, strained transit budgets are close to buckling.
Yet the Senate’s first proposal ignores this reality. While $200 billion in loans is included to support private industries like the airlines, public transit gets a cold shoulder and it's not clear why. Public transportation supports the same number of jobs across America as the airline industry and transports 20 times as many people on weekdays (under normal conditions). Even during this crisis, transit is still helping health care professionals get to and from their jobs; it's connecting people to grocery stores and pharmacies. Transit isn't a "nice to have," it's an essential industry that necessitates public support now.
If Congress can find $200 billion for corporations, then $13 billion for transit should be a no-brainer. Tell your members of Congress to fight for transit.