Getting America to Work? applauds President Barack Obama's call for a long-term solution to address the challenges facing America's crumbling public transit infrastructure.
"The President sends a strong message to Congress by calling for a four-year, $302 billion transportation bill, which would allot $72 billion for mass transit, to replace MAP-21 when it expires in September," says Leanne Redden, advisory board member of Getting America to Work. "The President's four-year proposal is a good start, but Congress needs to make sure that the ultimate solution provides sustainable funding for the foreseeable future."
Lawmakers have until September to find a funding stream to replace MAP-21 and address the issues ailing the bus and rail systems that help local economies thrive. The situation is even more dire as the Department of Transportation data has recently indicated that the Highway Trust Fund (HTF) could hit its statutory limit by July or August. According to the Federal Transit Administration, the cost of getting transit systems across the country into a state of good repair is almost $78 billion. After that backlog is addressed, transit systems will require an estimated $14.4 billion annual investment to remain in good working order.
"Our coalition is hopeful that proposals by the White House, Ways & Means Chairman Dave Camp (R-MI) and others will result in a concrete and long-term solution for transit funding," says Leanne Redden. "It's critical that Washington understand the urgent need for a long-term, sustainable solution that drives economic growth and supports jobs in dozens of industries that rely on public transit."
Funding transit is a proven way to invest in the American economy. Every dollar spent on transit generates an economic return of four to one, providing jobs and improving performance.
The Getting America to Work coalition boasts 86 members in 16 states and is dedicated to supporting increased investment in transit and giving Americans the basic infrastructure they deserve.