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ATU: House Republicans Are Throwing Public Transit Riders Under the Bus

Proposed Cuts in U.S. House Transit Appropriations Bill will seriously hamper cash-strapped transit systems

Silver Spring, MD - Republicans in control of the House are trying to cheat public transit riders, workers, and our communities with significant cuts to transit funding proposed in U.S. House Transit Appropriations Bill released today, says the Amalgamated Transit Union, the largest transit union in North America.

“Cutting funding to already cash-strapped public transit agencies is cutting off a lifeline to progress, equality, and sustainability. Shame on House Republicans who are trying to make it more difficult for people to get around,” said ATU International President John Costa. “Our members were heroes throughout the pandemic working and keeping transit moving, which is critical in our country. Investing in public transit is not an expense. It’s an investment in the present and future of our communities. It’s not a luxury. It’s a necessity.”

The House Transportation, Housing and Urban Development, and Related Agencies (THUD) Appropriations bill for FY 2024 makes drastic cuts to public transit funding as authorized by the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA). The proposed bill provides a total of $18.9 billion for public transit in Fiscal Year (FY) 2024, a cut of $2.3 billion (-11 percent) from the FY 2023 enacted level. This total funding is $2.7 billion (-13 percent) less than the amount authorized in the IIJA. The bill cuts total Capital Investment Grants (CIG) -- which fund major rail and bus projects - to the lowest level in two decades, since 2003. In addition, the competitive bus program is cut by $112 million.

“Recognizing the importance of public transit to our economy, President Biden fought to get the landmark Infrastructure bill passed with historic investments in public transit and the creation of millions of jobs.” Costa continued. “Now the Republicans are trying to roll back those investments and putting politics ahead of the interests of the American people, especially working families.”

The bill also shamefully prohibits actions on equity action plans and mindlessly prevents work on greenhouse gas emissions measures.

“This is an insult to the millions of Americans who rely on public transit to get to work, school, the doctor, and other critical places,” Costa continued. “Furthermore, the significance of efficient, accessible, and safe public transit systems cannot be overstated. Public transit is critical to easing traffic congestion, fighting climate change, enhancing accessibility and equity, improving public health, and boosting economic growth.”