/To the Federal Transit Administration on the Impact of the Government Shutdown on the Public Transportation Industry

To the Federal Transit Administration on the Impact of the Government Shutdown on the Public Transportation Industry

To the Federal Transit Administration on the Impact of the Government Shutdown on the Public Transportation Industry

2019-04-30T15:35:30-04:00January 29, 2019|

The Honorable K. Jane Williams
Acting Administrator
Federal Transit Administration
United States Department of Transportation
1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE
Washington, DC 20590

Dear Administrator Williams:

We are pleased that the Federal Transit Administration is fully back to work and up and running. During the partial government shutdown, our industry was fortunate that only a small percentage of public transportation agencies were forced to cut back service. However, many of our agencies delayed hiring, transferred capital funds to operations, and used lines of credit and reserve funds as well as incurred significant ridership impacts and revenue loss. Based on an American Public Transportation Association (APTA) survey in early January, more than one-third of public transportation agency members experienced these significant impacts, and the impacts grew worse with each passing day.

As you know, public transportation is a lifeline for millions of Americans of all ages and incomes in urban, suburban, and rural communities, and the government shutdown has strained public transportation agencies’ ability to connect people to their daily lives. We know that you and your team appreciate the difference that public transportation makes. We also recognize the FTA faces a daunting backlog of requests for project reimbursements and approvals in the wake of the shutdown.

As FTA reopens for business I want to make an appeal on behalf of America’s public transportation industry, which contributes $71 billion to the U.S. economy annually, directly employs more than 420,000 workers, and supports millions of private-sector jobs. We urge you to take several immediate actions to ameliorate the significant impacts of the shutdown on public transportation agencies and the riders they serve:

▪ Process all pending requests for reimbursement for public transportation agencies, beginning with requests for reimbursement of operating expenses or identified hardships;

▪ Approve all pending requests for operating assistance and capital project approvals, including requests for Letters of No Prejudice;

▪ Complete the certification of State Safety Oversight programs of the four pending applications that are currently under review by FTA;

▪ Issue Fiscal Year 2019 apportionments for FTA programs as soon as possible and before the Continuing Resolution expires on February 15; and

▪ Take all other possible actions to help public transportation agencies restore public transportation operations and make critical infrastructure upgrades.

We appreciate your commitment to public transportation and your partnership with APTA. We recognize the heroic effort that it will take to complete these actions in the coming weeks and look forward to continuing to work together to strengthen communities, spur economic growth, reduce congestion, improve air quality, save time and money, and advance a better quality of life across our nation.

If you have any questions regarding these requests, please do not hesitate to contact me at (202) 496-4889 or at pskoutelas@apta.com or have your staff contact Ward McCarragher, Vice President, Government Affairs, at (202) 496-4811 or wmccarragher@apta.com.

Thank you for your consideration.

Sincerely,

Paul P. Skoutelas
President and CEO​


David M. Stackrow, Sr.
Chair
​​​​

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