“On behalf of the 1,500 members of the American Public Transportation Association (APTA), we strongly support the bipartisan amendment to the American Energy and Infrastructure Jobs Act of 2012 (H.R.7) to restore the Mass Transit Account and return dedicated motor fuels tax revenues to public transportation. This amendment is being developed by Representatives Jerrold Nadler (D-NY), Steven C. LaTourette (R-OH), Earl Blumenauer (D-OR), Chris Gibson (R-NY), Joseph Crowley (D-NY), Robert Turner (R-NY), Charles B. Rangel (D-NY) and Michael Grimm (R-NY).
APTA strongly supports the bipartisan amendment that would restore the Mass Transit Account of the Highway Trust Fund and the 2.86 cents of motor fuels excise tax revenues currently dedicated to public transportation programs. It would eliminate the proposed Alternative Transportation Account, and provide for the trust fund to continue to invest in both highways and public transportation.
Since 1983, under President Ronald Reagan, fuels tax revenues have been dedicated to public transit through the Mass Transit Account of the surface transportation legislation. These dedicated revenues were not diverted from the Highway Account, but rather were originally enacted to support public transit capital investment. The current H.R.7 seeks to undo nearly 30 years of overwhelming bipartisan support for dedicated federal investment in public transit. It provides for only a one time appropriation and this action provides no guarantee for any public transportation funding beyond FY 2016. This makes it virtually impossible for public transit agencies to develop reliable long-term capital plans, and it could leave the future of the public transit program in peril. It will also stifle American job and economic growth. Every $1 billion invested in public transit creates and supports 36,000 jobs.
Citizens view our transportation system as one system and many use multiple modes to get around. It is a false premise to view the Highway Trust Fund as being supported only by car drivers. In fact, it is supported by Americans who use both highways and public transportation. Millions of public transit users DO pay into the highway trust fund, and they support using those tax dollars to invest in both public transportation AND highway infrastructure investments.
All Americans benefit from public transportation whether they use it or not because the existing highway system would be at gridlock if public transit users drove.
We agree with both the Republicans and Democrats who are offering the amendment that it is a simple, common sense measure to ensure we restore the proper investment in public transit. We strongly urge the U.S. House to support this amendment.”
# # #
The American Public Transportation Association (APTA) is a nonprofit international association of 1,500 public and private sector organization which represent a $68 billion industry that directly employs 420,000 people and supports millions of private sector jobs. APTA members are 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.