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The House Republican Conference is scheduled to meet today at noon to discuss the plan to move forward on a surface transportation authorization bill. Much has been said since the leadership pulled the bill from the House Floor two weeks ago after a bi-partisan effort to restore dedicated funding for the public transportation program, concerns about the bill’s overall spending levels, and other issues led the leadership to consider redrafting the measure. While it is not clear what will be decided in today’s meeting, and there seems to be some conflicting reports, there is apparently renewed discussion about eliminating funding for public transportation from motor fuel tax revenues that are now deposited into the Mass Transit Account of the Highway Trust Fund and dedicated to public transportation programs. The reports indicate that funding for public transportation would come from general funds, as had been proposed by the Ways and Means Committee portion of the bill last month.
Please do not hesitate. We need all APTA members to call House Republicans who represent their communities and tell them how strongly you oppose eliminating dedicated funding from motor fuels taxes for public transportation. Please call today before noon eastern time if possible, but please call!
Explain that this dedicated funding supports the predictability you need to carry out multi-year capital programs and address the need to preserve and maintain the transit systems that serve their constituents.
Urge them to continue these dedicated funds for transit that were established 30 years ago under President Reagan
Tell them that the Federal Transit Administration has cited a $78 billion backlog just to restore the nation’s transit systems to a state of good repair, and that this does not include annual investment needed to preserve the existing system, or provide expanded or improved transit to our growing and aging population.
Transit is an important part of the transportation system in the communities they serve and cutting dedicated funding as gas prices are rising makes no sense.