Media Contact: David Roscow, 202-537-1645 x 254
WASHINGTON, DC – Larry Hanley, international president of the Amalgamated Transit Union (ATU) released the following response to the “State of Public Transportation” report from the American Public Transportation Association (APTA) showing that a large majority of Americans support increased funding for public transportation.
“The American people have sent another clear message to Congress that they want more government investment in public transportation. Even as this new Congress works to reduce the national debt and government spending, U.S. taxpayers are urging them to build more mass transit – one of the surest engines of fiscal recovery.
“Americans clearly understand that increased investment in public transportation takes cars off the road, reduces our dependence on foreign oil and improves our economic security. For every $1 billion invested in public transportation 36,000 jobs are created.
“This APTA survey coupled with their recent ridership report and others like them demonstrate how important it is for Congress to respond to the growing ridership and demand for more transit service.
“It sends another message that Americans continue to be enthusiastic about transit even as they pay higher fares and wait longer for crowded trains and buses to come. From Pittsburgh, PA, to Everett, WA, to Detroit, MI, to Charleston, SC, 80 percent of transit systems have had to cut service or increase fares since the recession began.
“The American people want more public transportation and are willing to pay for it. Seventy-six percent of ballot measures to increase taxes to fund mass transit have passed over the last year. Congress needs to recognize that public transit creates good jobs, delivers customers to businesses, and helps clear the air. There is literally nothing more effective in getting our economy moving than mass transit."
About the ATU
The Amalgamated Transit Union is the largest labor organization representing transit workers in the United States and Canada. Founded in 1892, the ATU today is comprised of over 190,000 members in 264 local unions spread across 44 states and nine provinces, including 3,000 workers at Greyhound Lines, Inc. Composed of bus drivers, light rail operators, maintenance and clerical personnel and other transit and municipal employees, the ATU works to promote transit issues and fights for the interests of its hard-working members.