Media Center

Dec 18

ATU to Congress: Don’t leave frontline transit workers and riders out in the cold with COVID relief bill

Transit Union urges lawmakers to include $15 billion for public transit and
$8 billion for motor coach and school bus industries

Silver Spring, MD – With struggling transit systems slashing service and thousands of transportation workers laid off, the Amalgamated Transit Union called on Congress to maintain transportation funding – $15 billion for public transit and $8 billion for motor coach and school bus industries –  in the proposed $908 billion bipartisan coronavirus package.

“Any last-minute changes to these top line numbers will have real life consequences. This is not about dollars and cents, it’s about people,” read a letter to Congress from ATU International President John Costa, who represents nearly 200,000 workers in the transit, motor coach, and school bus industries in the U.S. and Canada. “While some have called this an ‘economic stimulus’ bill, the truth is that this legislation is about survival.”

With CARES Act transit funding running out, the pandemic could soon force the most painful transit cuts in our nation’s history, leaving workers without jobs and transit-dependent riders stranded. The coronavirus has also devastated the motor coach and school bus industries.

“Working families are hurting. Thousands of workers in the transit, motor coach, and school bus industries are out of work,” the letter read.  “Just this week, the 100th member of the ATU tragically died due to COVID-19. During this Christmas season, please do not leave frontline transportation workers out in the cold. Our members are heroes, not zeroes.”