T4America Blog

News, press releases and other updates

Transit Cuts: Coming soon to a system near you?

SF TransitUpdated: 14 new systems added to the map, bringing the total to 51. (1/27/09)

Updated: See this post for more information about Rep. DeFazio’s operating assistance House amendment that was withdrawn. (1/26/09)

Perhaps you’ve already seen the news in your local paper. Even as ridership is spiking — perhaps even the highest of all time — your local transit system is talking about having to cut service, raise fares, or even lay off workers to cope with the struggling economy. It sounds like a bad dream, but it’s a reality in many communities across the country.

We’ve created a map compiling the potential and proposed cuts to public transportation systems in 38 communities across the country. View the map and find out more about what can be done to solve the problem at www.t4america.org/transitcuts

The far-reaching and broad cuts will directly affect transit employees and riders who are among the most vulnerable in this time of economic upheaval. More than 20 million trips are taken each day on these 38 51 systems, and the scores of low-income citizens and 1/3 of Americans who are unable to or choose not to drive could find themselves out in the cold.

Emergency assistance to save jobs and protect service, which had been proposed by House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee Chair James Oberstar (D-Minn.), was removed from the House economic recovery bill without explanation. Funds for rail and other transit construction were cut as well, while funding levels for highway construction remained intact.

It’s crucial that the Federal government provide funds to protect existing transit service. An amendment is close to being offered that would provide $2 billion to transit agencies. But we need your help in getting it passed. In a time of such economic struggle, we need to act to preserve the basic services that people depend on each day.

“Our economy increasingly relies on public transit to function effectively, yet local systems are being forced to lay off workers and make cuts that will slow down economic growth and punish workers — including many low-income households who rely on transit to reach their jobs,” said Geoff Anderson, co-chair of Transportation For America.

“If we are serious about putting Americans back-to-work with this recovery plan, shouldn’t we also ensure that those who already have jobs don’t lose them?”

View the full map and learn what you can do today to make a difference at www.t4america.org/transitcuts