BAF Strongly Opposes House Effort to Slash Mass Transit Funding

WASHINGTON, DC – The U.S. House Ways and Means Committee overturned 30 years of bipartisan policy today by removing the certainty of funding for our public transit systems. This change will make it impossible for transit systems to plan for the future and serve their ever growing constituencies. 

In response, Building America’s Future co-chairs Mayor Michael Bloomberg (I-NYC) and former Governor Ed Rendell (D-PA) issued the following: 

Mayor Bloomberg: "The bill passed by the House Ways and Means Committee today illustrates once again how dysfunctional Congress has become. By removing the gas tax as the method of funding mass transit, House leadership is threatening the future of a program, in place since the Reagan administration that is actually working well. The lifeblood of New York City is our buses, subways and commuter rails. Eight million people take mass transit every day in New York which helps to cut traffic, reduce pollution, spur our economy and improve public health. The bill passed today ignores the needs of cities across the country by relegating transit to an "alternative" transportation with an uncertain funding stream. Our country is being left behind as the world races ahead with 21st century infrastructure investments, this bill would take us even further from our competitors.”

Former Governor Rendell: “Transit has had a vital role to play in our nation’s transportation system. At a time when our roads are choking under growing traffic congestion, it makes no sense to take away a dedicated source of funding and force public transportation to compete against education and other important programs for increasingly scarce dollars. A transportation bill without transit is no transportation bill at all. The nation’s millions of transit riders deserve better than this.”

Building America’s Future Educational Fund recently released a new report – “Falling Apart and Falling Behind” – comparing the transportation infrastructure investments in the U.S. with those being made by our economic competitors.

The report includes a series of recommendations to policymakers; chief among them is to develop a national infrastructure strategy for the next decade that makes choices based on economics, not politics. For the full report and more information, please visit http://www.BAFuture.org/Report.

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MEDIA CONTACT: Laura Braden, 615-891-8433, laura AT bradenstrategies.com