Media Center

Jun 16

ATU applauds INVEST in America Act

Union says strong investment in public transit, frontline workers is critical

Silver Spring, MD – With strong investments in public transit and frontline transit workers, the Amalgamated Transit Union (ATU), the largest union representing transit workers in North America, strongly supports the Investing in a New Vision for the Environment and Surface Transportation in America (INVEST in America) Act, the new House proposal for the reauthorization of the FAST Act.

“We applaud Chairman DeFazio and his team for crafting this bill to heavily invest not only in public transit but also in ‘Human Capital,’-- the knowledge, talents, skills, abilities, experience, intelligence, training, judgment, and especially the safety of the frontline transit workforce,” said ATU International President John Costa. The bill includes $105 billion for public transportation. 

With the continuing increase in attacks on transit workers - punching, spitting, verbal abuse, and worse  - ATU praised the bill for including core elements of the bipartisan Transit Worker and Pedestrian Protection Act (H.R.1139), to better protect transit workers on the job. H.R. 1139 is currently cosponsored by nearly 200 Members of Congress.

“Violent attacks – including the murder of one of our Tampa bus drivers – are a growing epidemic across the country,” Costa continued. “The INVEST in America Act is the vaccine that we have been searching for to provide all transit workers better safety protections on the job. This bill will save countless lives.”

The INVEST in America Act also includes H.R. 6478, the Public Transit Safety Program Improvement Act, critical legislation which finally recognizes that workers have an important and equal role to play in the development of transit safety plans.

Costa also praised the inclusion of the groundbreaking National Transit Workforce Training Act of 2020 (H.R. 6575) in the legislation to establish a national transit frontline workforce training center, supported by both labor and management.

“With the changing technology and demands in our industry, it is crucial that our members and all transit workers are trained and prepared to meet the challenges on the job – not only today – but in the future,” Costa continued. “This bill establishes a center dedicated to the needs of the frontline workforce. It is long overdue.”

Costa called on Congress to take immediate action on this critical legislation. “The INVEST in America Act recognizes that addressing the safety, health, security, and workforce development needs of transit workers should be a Congressional priority for the next five years. After all, transit is powered by people,” Costa continued. “We urge Congress to pass this bill.”