APTA Says Proposed Reductions on Investment in Public Transportation and High-Speed
Intercity Passenger Rail Are Misguided
American Public Transportation Association (APTA) President William Millar today urged the House of Representatives to reject reductions on transportation investment, including public transportation and high-speed intercity passenger rail programs, outlined in the Fiscal Year (FY) 2012 budget proposal by House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (R-WI).
“The budget plan proposed by Chairman Ryan would place ill-conceived limits on federal investment in transportation,” said Millar. “The House budget plan needlessly restricts investment options by calling for all transportation programs to be cut 30 percent or more. This would halt thousands projects needed in the years ahead to bring our nation’s public transportation infrastructure up to a state of good repair and build the capacity for millions of new riders.
“Instead of adopting limits on transportation investment, Congress needs to pass a well-funded, six-year, multimodal surface transportation bill. While transportation programs account for less than 3 percent of the federal budget, they support or create more than 2.5 million jobs annually. Modest changes to the collection of federal motor fuel user fees in a new surface transportation bill could easily eliminate the small amount of deficit spending in these programs.
“With gas prices rising steadily, now is not the time to place misguided restrictions on public transportation and high-speed and intercity passenger rail investment. The nation needs to make significant, long-term investments in public transportation or we will leave Americans with limited travel options, or in many cases, stranded without travel options. Public transit is the quickest way for people to beat high gas prices if it is available.”
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The American Public Transportation Association (APTA) is a nonprofit international association of 1,500 public and private sector organizations, engaged in the areas of bus, paratransit, light rail, commuter rail, subways, waterborne services, and intercity and high-speed passenger rail. This includes: transit systems; planning, design, construction, and finance firms; product and service providers; academic institutions; transit associations and state departments of transportation. APTA is the only association in North America that represents all modes of public transportation. APTA members serve the public interest by providing safe, efficient and economical transit services and products. More than 90 percent of the people using public transportation in the United States and Canada ride APTA member systems.