Our Campaign for Transit Operations Funding
The Fight for Operations Funding
When the Federal Surface Transportation Act first expired in 2009, transit systems nationwide were in crisis. 90% had raised fares or decreased service, falling hardest on the backs of the poorest and most transit dependant Black, Latino, Asian and white working class transit riders.
"Many transit agencies are trying to advance capital expansion by bankrupting current transit service, laying off thousands and leaving millions stranded"-Francisca Porchas, National Coordinator
Federal funding for transit operations is critical:
- The best economic stimulus. Attracting thousands of new riders will relieve the public health and climate attack on our lungs and our future. Operating transit services that meet the most basic needs for the lowest income people is the best form of stimulus.
- For the climate. In order to truly tackle the climate responsibility we hold inside the United States, to reduce auto use dramatically in the next thirty years, we need to keep people on the bus or the train.
- Protecting and creating jobs. Funding for transit operations creates almost twice as many jobs as capital spending, and reduces the need to increase fares and decrease service hours.
TRPT held a Congressional Briefing hosted by Grace Napolitano (CA,38 ) in June of 2009 to bring together elected officials and their staffers to highlight the need for funding to operate our failing systems. Through the great leadership of the Amalgamated Transit Union (ATU)in that same month, Representative Russ Carnahan (MI,3 ) introduced a bill, H.R. 2746, that would give more flexibility in funding to go to run systems, pay drivers, and pay for fuel.
TRPT and allies, Transportation Equity Network, ATU, Policylink and Transportation for America, advocated intensely in Congress, meeting with 100s of staffers and on the streets, participating in days of action across the country. In 2010, with the new majority in the House of Representatives and the re-introduction of the legislation, our rigorous efforts continued. We attended Field Hearings led byTransportation and Infrastructure Committee Chairman, John Mica (FL, 7), making sure he heard us when we said that we need public transit that fits the masses and we need an open and transparent government process.
TRPT transit operations Blogs
Making the case
Jeff Rosenberg, legislative director for the Amalgamated Transit Union, explains why transit operations funding is so crucial