SolTrans Stands Up For Transportation

April 9, 2015

SolTrans is calling upon Congress to renew funding for the federal transportation bill, Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act (MAP-21), which is set to expire on May 31. If MAP-21 expires, SolTrans will not receive over $1 million in federal funding this fiscal year (through September 30, 2015) for operating and maintaining the transit system. In fact, SolTrans’ typical, annual allocation of over $3 million, which would fund approximately 30 percent of its annual budget, will then cease entirely if congressional action does not occur by the start of the next fiscal year on October 1, 2015.

“I am deeply concerned about the uncertainty we face without a long-term, sustainable investment in public transportation,” said Mona Babauta, SolTrans’ executive director. “Without a long-term federal funding bill, it is impossible for us to plan for the future, even as we struggle to keep our transportation services in a state of good repair.  SolTrans strongly urges the U.S. Congress to enact a new multi-year authorization bill that provides dedicated funding through the Highway Trust Fund to help grow our local economy.”

SolTrans uses its federal funding to operate daily transit service that takes people to school, work, medical appointments and to other life needs. In fact, SolTrans provides over 1.5 million trips annually for people of all ages, including citizens with disabilities, to destinations not only in Solano County, but also in San Francisco, El Cerrito, Concord and Walnut Creek. In addition, SolTrans uses federal funding to build facilities that support transit services and to purchase buses that are safe and reliable.

However, the benefits of federal investment in SolTrans do not stop with those who ride its buses. The transit service that is delivered, the facilities that are being built, and the products and services that SolTrans purchases as part of its daily operation, directly produce hundreds of jobs within the local community every year. “SolTrans puts people to work, in addition to taking them there,” Babauta further commented. She went on to say, “Even if you do not ride SolTrans, the work that the Agency does contributes to job creation, economic activity, and less congestion on roads and highways.”

For all of these reasons, SolTrans is joining with transportation and community leaders from across the country for “Stand Up for Transportation Day,” April 9. Sponsored by the American Public Transportation Association (APTA), Stand Up for Transportation Day is uniting more than 300 organizations in communities across the country to urge federal officials to support the passage of a long-term, sustainable and reliable federal transportation funding bill.

Recognizing the importance of communicating the need for a long-term funding bill to support, repair and improve Solano County’s transportation infrastructure, governing boards of the following organizations signed proclamations declaring April 9, 2015 as Stand Up for Transportation Day, along with SolTrans: the County of Solano, the City of Vallejo, the City of Benicia, the City of Fairfield, the City of Suisun City, and the Solano Transportation Authority (STA).

SolTrans is encouraging the public to talk to their elected officials, participate in local rallies or share their thoughts about this with their friends and family via social media to help them spread awareness of this issue.