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Proposed budget would gut transit spending, passenger rail funding

Sound Transit underground Originally uploaded by Transportation for America to Flickr.
A Seattle Sound transit light rail car moves through a tunnel south of downtown. Sound Transit’s new line was funded in part by the federal New Starts transit program.

The budget proposal from the Republican Study Committee, which consists of 165 of the 242 GOP House members, released a week or so ago, calls for completely eliminating the main federal transit program, zeroes out Amtrak, cuts all funding for the metro system in the nation’s capital and slashes $2.5 billion in high-speed rail grants.

This shortsighted proposal would derail with uncanny precision exactly the kind of investments that are most critical for creating jobs and developing a 21st Century transportation infrastructure. And as far as transportation spending goes, these are some of the investments that create the most jobs per dollar spent.

The proposal eliminates New Starts, the transportation program that funds all new transit projects in the country, and slashes high-speed rail funding — the same program touted by President Obama to great fanfare in last week’s State of the Union.

It even chops all federal funding for Washington DC’s transit authority, the very transit system that these legislators’ staff and neighbors rely on every day to get to and from work.

This budget is a trial-balloon for the budget fight to come. We need to waste no time making it clear that these kinds of cuts are short-sighted and unacceptable.

Sign our petition objecting to this assault on public transportation funding. We’ll deliver the petition with your signature along with a letter from us and our partners to lawmakers. (Are you a T4 America partner who wants to sign your org onto the letter? Contact Heather Brutz for more info.)

The lawmakers who crafted this budget clearly aren’t aware that millions of Americans — including their own constituents — rely on passenger rail and the types of transit projects these programs fund.

These are also the very projects that pay some of the most far-reaching economic dividends. Study after study has shown that every dollar spent on public transportation generates more jobs than any other form of transportation spending. This proposed budget cuts the investments that create the most jobs – an especially poor decision in the face of a recovering economy.

We can keep this proposal from becoming law if we speak up now and make it clear that Americans aren’t going to sit by as federal investments in transit are gutted.

Sign our petition to protect federal support for transportation and jobs!

1 Comment

  1. troll

    13 years ago

    Problem, Amtrak?