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208 local leaders and organizations urge Congress not to back down from federal commitment to transportation

208 local leaders and organizations—including 72 local elected officials—sent a letter to House and Senate appropriators today urging them to continue rejecting the administration’s proposed cuts to transit and passenger rail programs, and the BUILD competitive grant program.

This group of elected officials and organizations, spanning 36 states, urged Congress to continue their commitment to invest in these small but vital programs that help move goods, move people and support the local economies upon which our nation’s prosperity is built.

“This impressive group of 208 signatories are sending a clear message to Congress and the administration: The opportunities provided by these relatively small federal transportation programs are crucial to the long-term vitality of communities across the country,” said Kevin F. Thompson, director of T4America. “Local voters and leaders have been approving billions in tax increases at the ballot box to invest in meeting the growing demand for well-connected communities served by transit. But they’re counting on the federal government to continue its historic role as a reliable funding partner to support these bottom-up efforts to invest in transit.”

As Congress continues working to finalize the 2019 budget, the letter’s signers urge appropriators to “recognize the power transportation investments can and continue to have on making our communities dynamic, livable, and connected places while strengthening our country’s position in the global marketplace.”

The letter continues: 

We want all American communities, large and small, across the country to benefit from a multimodal transportation network. We want to rebuild and improve our transportation infrastructure and that begins by ensuring that projects and programs in the Fixing America’s Surface Transportation (FAST) Act are fully funded and that the administration’s proposed cuts to key federal transportation programs—including the BUILD (previously TIGER) program, the Federal Transit Administration’s (FTA) Capital Investment Grants (CIG), and long-distance passenger rail programs—are defeated and funding for these programs are secured or enhanced.

As you consider funding levels for fiscal year (FY) 2019, we urge you to prioritize federal investments in our national transportation system, specifically for public transportation and passenger rail service.

 The full letter, including the list of all 208 signatories from 36 states, can be found here.