Representatives García, Moore, Nadler, Takano, and over 100 Members Highlight Urgent Need to Support Public Transportation Agencies

July 29, 2020
Press Release

Washington, DC. - Representatives Jesús “Chuy” García (IL-04), Gwen Moore (WI-04), Jerrold Nadler (NY-10), and Mark Takano (CA-41) led 106 Members of Congress in urging Congressional leadership to support public transportation agencies, including their workers, in the next relief package addressing the COVID-19 public health emergency.

“Transit agencies have kept our economy running through these most uncertain times. Without the daily sacrifice and bravery of the many frontline, essential workers operating our transit systems, many working class families would lack access to health care, jobs, and essential services. Now, transit agencies like CTA, Pace Bus, and Metra in Chicago need our support,” said Rep. García. “Congress must support the ongoing operation of transit systems and keep our economy moving. For communities of color and working class families, public transit is a literal lifeline. We cannot afford to exclude them from the next relief package.”

“Throughout the pandemic, and in the face of immediate and enormous funding gaps, our nation’s public transit agencies have carried on to meet the needs of the public and their continued operations are critical to our economic recovery,” said Congressman Jerrold Nadler. “To ensure our public transit agencies can continue serving the millions who depend on their services while protecting the health of commuters and frontline transit workers, it is crucial that Congress provides significant additional funding for public transit.”

“We need to continue providing support to our public transportation systems so they can protect their employees and the public who depend on these systems to get to work, which is the primary reason most Americans use these services. Public transit has served as a lifeline for many essential workers during this pandemic and will be a critical transportation option to help our communities as they open,” said Rep. Moore. “This additional funding is crucial to keeping public transit viable, supporting our economy, and avoiding harmful service reductions and fare increases as localities struggle to pay for rising costs and loss of revenues.”

“The need to fund our transit agencies and support the workers who keep our cities moving is urgent. As ridership and fares continue to decline during the pandemic, we must provide emergency supplemental funding for transit agencies in the next COVID-19 relief package to protect this vital public service for the millions who rely on public transit. Every day, transit workers expose themselves to dangerous conditions in order to allow essential workers and families to get to where they need to go—the federal government must show them support. We must ensure that our transit agencies are funded to continue providing essential services to the American people,” said Rep. Takano.

“Public transit agencies need additional emergency funding to continue to provide essential services throughout the crisis and play an indispensable role in America’s economic recovery from COVID-19. APTA is urging Congress to invest at least $32 billion in additional emergency funding to keep systems running safely and to protect the jobs of more than 435,000 industry workers, who make it possible to service the millions of private-sector and essential workers that depend on public transit every day,” said American Public Transportation Association (APTA) President and CEO Paul P. Skoutelas.

A copy of the letter can be found here.

In March, Reps. García, Moore and 51 Members of Congress urged leadership to include emergency transit agency support in the stimulus package that became the CARES Act.

 

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