Washington, D.C. – “On behalf of the American Public Transportation Association’s (APTA) 1,500 members and the tens of millions of people who rely on public transportation daily, we support the Administration’s commitment to strengthen America’s infrastructure, but strongly oppose the deep cuts in federal funding for existing public transit infrastructure programs as a way to fund it.
“The $200 billion proposed by the Administration for infrastructure would be paid for by cutting funding for critical public transportation infrastructure programs, including the Capital Improvement Grants (CIG), Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery program (TIGER), and Amtrak, in the Fiscal Year 2019 budget. This would be a big mistake and counterproductive to fostering prosperous communities.
“APTA will push for a bipartisan approach that continues and expands upon the historic federal support needed to address public transportation’s priorities. These include addressing the $90 billion backlog of state of good repair work and a solution to make the Highway Trust Fund solvent and sustainable.
“Funding public transportation projects is aligned with the Administration’s focus on funding major transformative projects, supporting rural communities, streamlining the federal permitting and approval processes, and investing in a high-skilled, competitive workforce. We are encouraged by specific provisions in the proposal related to public transportation, including streamlining, preserving and expanding the CIG pilot program and eliminating constraints on private-public partnerships.
“APTA looks forward to working with Congress and the White House on these issues because they all contribute to economic growth, jobs and getting people back to work – all benefits of an effective public transportation industry. APTA will play an important role in this legislation since for every $1 dollar invested in public transit projects, $4 are generated back to the economy.
“The cuts the Administration are suggesting in its FY2019 budget mirror the reductions in its proposed 2018 budget which Congress already rejected this measure in the 2018 appropriations process that is nearing completion. Congress affirmed this federal responsibility when it authorized $2.3 billion annually, through 2020, for the CIG program in the Fixing America’s Surface Transportation (FAST) Act, which was overwhelmingly approved by bipartisan votes of 83-16 in the Senate and 359-65 in the House of Representatives.
“Americans across the country deserve a public transit and highway network that is safe, reliable, and meets the demands of a 21st century economy. Congress and the Administration have an opportunity to put forth an infrastructure plan that our communities and economy desperately need.”
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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.