“Don’t X Out Public Transportation” events next Tuesday will highlight the impact of deep transit cutsSeptember 14, 2011
By Sean Barry
Events across the country next Tuesday will highlight the devastating potential impacts on public transportation contained in the House’s initial negotiating point on the full transportation bill.
While the House and Senate agreement this week on a clean six-month extension of the current transportation program offers a temporary reprieve from deep cuts, advocates remain rightly concerned about the potential 35 percent across-the-board cut proposed by in the House when Congress takes up a longer-term bill next year.
It’s in this spirit that the Don’t X Out Public Transportation rallies will commence next Tuesday, September 20. Organized in cooperation with the American Public Transportation Association in 15 cities, these events will highlight how a one-third cut in transit would hurt Americans in their daily lives — their ability to get to work, groceries and basic services, among other necessities.
With our economic recovery on life support and no signs of a thaw in the unemployment rate, this is the wrong time to be talking about cuts. In fact, according to APTA’s calculations, Americans looking to save money are already reducing their monthly budgets by hundreds simply by altering how they get to work. The numbers tell the story: Americans who switch from driving to riding public transportation to work save an average of $830 per month and nearly $10,000 every year, using the current national gas price average — $3.65 per gallon — as a baseline.
Democrats and Republicans in Washington have not always agreed on the prescription for an ailing economy, but most everyone acknowledges that continued joblessness is a problem in need of serious attention. Many Americans, both unemployed, underemployed or too discouraged to keep looking, are scraping by every month, with a big chunk still underwater on mortgages and debt. Why would Congress take away a money-saving lifeline like public transportation? And what about the job-seeker who cannot get and keep a job without access to these services?
If you want to speak up about prioritizing transit and preventing cuts, visit supporttransit.org to find an event in your area. You’re also encouraged to ride public transportation next Tuesday and wear red. The locations for nationwide events as of today are as follows:
- Birmingham, Alabama
- Boston, Massachusetts
- Chicago, Illinois
- Fall River and New Bedford, Massachusetts
- Greensboro, North Carolina
- Johnstown, Pennsylvania
- Los Angeles, California
- Miami, Florida
- Minneapolis. Minnesota
- New York, New York
- Oakland, California
- Providence, Rhode Island
- Springfield, Massachusetts
- Worchester, Massachusetts
Check this site for information on exact locations and times as details are confirmed. We’ll have more information later this week and early next week.