Investment in public transit critical – enhances mobility for all
WASHINGTON, DC: Larry Hanley, international president of the Amalgamated Transit Union (ATU), released the following statement in response to the submission to Congress of President Obama’s multi-year surface transportation reauthorization proposal – the Generating Renewal, Opportunity, and Work with Accelerated Mobility, Efficiency, and Rebuilding of Infrastructure and Communities throughout America (GROW AMERICA) Act.
“The Amalgamated Transit Union urges Congress to pass President Obama’s proposed transportation reauthorization bill – the GROW AMERICA Act – as soon as possible to address the mounting public transit crisis threatening the economic future of our country.
“Our nation needs a comprehensive transportation bill that sets forth a major urban agenda to address our exploding urban populations, worsening traffic jams, young people forgoing cars, and stressed public transit systems.
“The president’s proposal to invest $72 billion in transit systems and expanded transportation options sends a clear message to Congress that public transit matters to the American people. We need to invest in smart public transit initiatives to prevent America from falling behind our global competitors, and keep our cities and towns running. Public transit when done well has been and continues to be a great ladder of opportunity for all.
“There are idle buses, bus stops without service and people who need to get to and from their job. The current infrastructure is already there. There is no shovel required to improve public transit.
“Not only does public transit provide reliable mobility for everyone for years to come, it creates good jobs and delivers customers to businesses. For every $1 invested in public transportation, $4 in economic returns is generated. It helps fight pollution and traffic. More people riding buses mean fewer cars on the road and less emissions. Buses emit 80 percent less carbon monoxide than a car.
“We need Congress to start thinking big when it comes to public transit and pass the GROW America Act, which will enhance mobility for all of us.”