Media Contact: David Roscow, 202-537-1645 x 254
Washington, DC - Larry Hanley, international president of the Amalgamated Transit Union (ATU) released the following statement in reaction to today’s report from the American Public Transportation Association (APTA) showing that ridership increased in all forms of transit for the seventh straight quarter on American transit systems.
“The numbers don’t lie; more and more Americans are riding public transportation everyday and want more access to mass transit. As Congress works to avoid the fiscal cliff it also needs to recognize that we need to meet this rising demand.
“Despite increased ridership, commuters all over the country are paying higher fares and waiting longer for crowded trains and buses to come, if they come at all. 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.
“This APTA report is the latest of many showing transit ridership is up, and communities that show an increase have a growing economy. There are few things that can do more to help our economy dig out of this deep recession than investing in public transportation. For every $1 billion invested in public transportation 36,000 jobs are created.
“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.