As the representative of the public transportation industry at the federal level, APTA and its Chair Phillip A. Washington are focused on convincing the U.S. Congress to pass a long-term surface transportation bill that authorizes increased federal spending on the nation’s surface transportation infrastructure and a predictable, dedicated funding mechanism to support a growing program as part of APTA’s ongoing advocacy efforts. APTA and its members will keep up the steady drumbeat of activities to push for passage of the bill, including Legislative Fly-ins in December and March. The National Transportation Infrastructure Day will be a keystone event that shows broad and strong national support for an investment bill.
On April 9, 2015, APTA Chair Phil Washington is asking members to coordinate and hold events and advocacy in their local communities, while Members of the U.S. Congress are in their home districts during the Spring congressional recess. The effort is intended to convince federal officials to support passage of a good surface transportation bill before the expiration of the MAP 21 extension. Its focus will be on media events and rallies and other defined actions where participants might include mayors and other state or local officials, U.S. Senators and Representatives, and coalition partners in the community.
These partners could include:
- U.S. Chamber of Commerce and local and regional chambers
- Various trade associations that advocate and benefit from transportation infrastructure investment including but not limited to American Association of State Highway and Transportation Organizations (AASHTO) , Community Transportation Association of America (CTAA), American Road and Transportation Builders Association (ARTBA), American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE), Association of Metropolitan Planning Organizations (AMPO), American Council of Engineering Companies (ACEC)
- Small, minority, women-owned, veteran business communities
- Senior citizen and disability organizations
- Women’s Transportation Seminar (WTS)
- Conference of Minority Transportation Officials (COMTO)
- State and regional transportation associations
- University and student organizations
- Urban Land Institute, other urban development associations
- Organizations representing state, county and local elected officials, including US Conference of Mayors, National Conference of State Legislators, National League of Cities
- Organizations representing Native American tribal families
APTA staff will coordinate with coalition partners at the national level and provide consistent messaging and guidance for events conducted at the local level, but will not attempt to manage the many events in communities, which hopefully will be conducted in communities of all sizes and in every state. APTA staff will also work with APTA members to identify projects that will not move forward without enactment of a robust transportation bill, and to identify benefits that will accrue to communities if a robust bill is enacted. This will also be used for national messaging. Within states or regions, it may make sense to identify APTA members or state transit associations that can help coordinate events within those states or regions.
APTA members, both public and private, will be expected to initiate and lead events at the local level. In most communities APTA public sector members should lead the effort, with support from private sector supporters and local coalition partners that include APTA members and non-members. In other communities, where public transit service is more limited, it may make more sense for APTA private sector members to lead the effort in order to emphasize job creation that results from federal spending. Local events should ideally include private sector employers and local Chambers of Commerce-type groups that do not directly benefit from federal spending, but support federal spending as a way to meet infrastructure needs that get their employees to work or allow for the efficient movement of goods and services, and the conduct of commerce in the community.
APTA staff will also utilize advocates from the National Alliance of Public Transportation Advocates (NAPTA) and Voices for Public Transportation.