President Obama signed into law a five year transportation infrastructure bill today. The measure will invest $61 billion in our nation’s public transportation systems and authorizes more than $300 billion in the nation’s surface transportation infrastructure. The public transportation industry applauds both chambers of Congress for their bipartisan votes to pass the bill, titled “Fixing America’s Surface Transportation Act” (FAST Act).
“This is a great day for America,” said American Public Transportation Association (APTA) Chair Valarie J. McCall and board member of the Greater Cleveland Regional Transit Authority. “On behalf of the 1,500 APTA member organizations, I commend Congress and the Obama Administration for their bipartisan leadership in passing this long-term FAST Act. This legislation is critical for Americans across the country who take 35 million trips on public transportation each day, equating to 10.8 billion trips annually.”
“As the first long-term surface transportation bill in ten years, the significance of this legislation cannot be overstated,” said APTA President and CEO Michael Melaniphy. “This is excellent news for America’s public transportation systems, their riders, and the small, medium, and large communities they serve. A well-funded, long-term surface transportation authorization is critical to the economic competitiveness and prosperity of our nation’s communities. To sum it up, wherever public transportation goes, community grows.”
McCall and Melaniphy both thank Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, Minority Leader Harry Reid, Banking Committee Chairman Richard Shelby and Ranking Member Sherrod Brown; Environment and Public Works Committee Chairman Jim Inhofe and Ranking Member Barbara Boxer; Commerce Committee Chairman John Thune and Ranking Member Bill Nelson; Finance Committee Chairman Orrin Hatch and Ranking Member Ron Wyden for their efforts in getting this bill through the Senate to the President’s desk.
McCall and Melaniphy also thank House Speaker Paul Ryan, Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, Transportation and Infrastructure Committee Chairman Bill Shuster and Ranking Member Peter DeFazio, and Ways and Means Committee Chairman Kevin Brady and Ranking Member Sander Levin for their efforts in moving this legislation forward.
In addition, APTA recognizes and thanks the Senate and House conferees and other key representatives for their significant contributions to the passage of the bill.
Finally, McCall and Melaniphy thank the millions of Americans who, by using public transit every day, demonstrate its value to our country.
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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.