Media Center

Feb 27

With $30 billion in critical funding for transit, urges Senate to pass American Rescue Plan

Silver Spring, MD – With $30 billion in much-needed relief for transit agencies, frontline hero workers, and riders, the Amalgamated Transit Union (ATU) applauds the House for passing the $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan.

“Hundreds of thousands of frontline transit workers have been putting their lives and families at risk every single day to provide millions of Americans essential public transportation services - an absolutely vital lifeline to access their jobs, food, and other critical services,” said International President John Costa. “What this funding means is the ability for transit agencies to stay afloat, keep critical service running, avoid layoffs and provide workers and riders with the safety protections needed.”

With ridership at a fraction of normal levels and sales tax revenue generated by local businesses and previous relief funding gone, transit agencies have already threatened to lay off frontline workers and cut service without adequate funding.

“Since this pandemic began, our members have been frontline heroes keeping our communities moving, often with little or no protection. We have lost 136 brothers and sisters, with thousands more becoming infected with this deadly virus. This funding will help protect workers and save lives,” said Costa.  

The bill also provides important relief for American families, including increased unemployment insurance (UI) for laid-off workers. The extended and expanded UI benefits will help put food on the table and pay bills for struggling American families.

Also included in the bill are direct payments of $1,400 per adult and child dependents. Eligibility will also be expanded to adult dependents that were left out of previous rounds of relief. These payments will help hard-hit households cover costs and spend money at small local businesses to stimulate the economy. 

“We thank the House and President Biden for delivering on one of the fundamental promises that helped win him the presidency: Relief for the American people. Funding for transit, vaccine distribution, extended unemployment benefits, and stimulus checks will ensure that we can make it through this crisis,” Costa continued. “We call on the Senate to vote yes on this monumental bill immediately to help our nation continue on the road to recovery.”