“We appreciate the U.S. Senate for passing an extension of the federal program for surface transportation funding, also known as MAP-21. However, this extension does not increase funding for public transportation, roads, bridges and rails, it merely maintains the current funding levels of the program until the end of July. It also avoids the May 31 deadline when the program was set to expire.
“It is our understanding that it is likely this action by the Senate will lead to an additional extension of the federal program which could last until the end of the year. Congressional leaders note that this extension is intended to provide time to secure funding for a long-term bill.
“APTA strongly believes that Congress should expedite its efforts and find a solution that provides for long-term investment in our public transportation, road and rail network. It is crucial that Congress act with urgency to address the nation’s crumbling infrastructure.
“Congress must get focused and use these two months to develop realistic and viable options for a long-term solution to funding the nation’s transportation system.
“There is an $88 billion backlog just to get public transportation infrastructure up to a state of good repair, according the Federal Transit Administration’s latest estimates.
“Long-term investment in our nation’s public transportation infrastructure provides a tremendous boost to our nation’s economy. In fact, one dollar invested in public transportation results in four dollars in economic returns. And one billion dollars invested in public transportation yields 50,000 jobs.
“Public transportation ridership has reached its highest levels in 58 years with more than 10.8 billion trips last year. We strongly encourage Congress to continue its work to provide a much needed jolt to the economy and address the increasing demand for public transportation.
“We look forward to working directly with both Houses of Congress and the Administration to encourage them to pass a comprehensive long-term transportation bill that grows the program.”
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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.