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The ATU Applauds Senate Bipartisan Infrastructure Bill with Robust Transit Funding and Groundbreaking Safety Measures for Transit Workers

Silver Spring, MD – Amalgamated Transit Union (ATU) International President John Costa, who represents more than 200,000 workers in the transit, motorcoach, and school bus industries in the U.S. and Canada, released the following statement in response to the Senate bipartisan infrastructure deal:

“The bipartisan infrastructure deal between the Senate and the White House is welcomed and is a considerable step forward in meeting our nation’s transit and infrastructure needs. By including $39 billion for transit, the Senate has put forth the highest level of transit funding in the history of the program.

“In addition, the ATU is particularly pleased that the bill will address the epidemic of violent assaults on transit workers that has plagued our country’s transit systems by including language from the Transit Worker and Pedestrian Protection Act. We appreciate the bipartisan support and recognition that attacks on transit workers is a problem that has been ignored for far too long.

“Not a week goes by that we don’t hear a story about a transit worker being punched, spit on, verbally abused, sexually assaulted, stabbed or worse by passengers. Our brother Thomas Dunn, a U.S. Airforce veteran, was a Tampa, FL, bus operator who lost his life after being fatally stabbed by a passenger while on the job. Dunn’s death was unfortunately not an isolated incident. Every year, thousands of transit employees throughout the U.S.  ̶ mostly bus operators ̶  are attacked in the course of performing their duties. The provisions in this bipartisan bill will help protect our members and prevent attacks and fatalities in the future.

“We also look forward to working with Congress during reconciliation to establish more training for frontline transit workers to ensure we can train workers to fix, maintain, and operate the electric vehicles, which will be purchased with the $5 billion in funding in this bill. Workforce training for our members is essential to making this unprecedented investment in bus electrification a success.

“We applaud President Biden and the Senate leadership for working together on this bill that will invigorate our nation’s transit systems, fix our crumbling infrastructure, protect our transit workers, and keep our communities and economies moving.”