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Release: Over 100 elected officials, cities, and organizations support $39.3 billion for transit

Over 100 elected officials, cities and organizations urge Congress to provide $39.3 billion in emergency funding for public transportation to preserve transit service through 2023

WASHINGTON, DC: With only three days’ notice, over 100 elected officials, cities and organizations signed a letter written by Transportation for America (T4America) and the Alliance for a Just Society (AJS) urging Congress to provide transit agencies with $39.3 billion in emergency funding over three years. This critical funding will allow transit agencies to avoid service cuts through 2023, ensuring that public transit will survive the pandemic and continue to provide safe and reliable access to jobs, schools, and services for millions of Americans. 

Public transit has been devastated by the pandemic, with ridership losses and declining local revenue sources putting this essential service at risk. Without federal emergency relief, many transit agencies and paratransit service providers will be forced to dramatically reduce or eliminate critical service as soon as this spring, as found in an analysis by TransitCenter.

Transit agencies face a projected funding shortfall of $39.3 billion through 2023, according to an independent economic analysis highlighted by the American Public Transportation Association (APTA). Without equivalent relief, “four in 10 agencies will have to consider additional service cuts to close their budget gaps. These cuts would come on the heels of 65 percent of transit agencies having cut service in 2020. Twenty-two percent of agencies will be forced to consider implementing additional layoffs,” according to APTA. 

Last night, the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee approved additional COVID-19 relief including $30 billion for public transit. This funding is a huge step towards helping transit agencies survive this crisis and continue powering our economic recovery. The additional and much-needed $9.3 billion can be provided in subsequent legislation. 

Read the full letter here. For requests to interview Transportation for America Director Beth Osborne or Policy Director Scott Goldstein, please contact Jenna Fortunati at [email protected]ca.org.