Without Congressional action, the federal tax benefit that helps transit riders defray the cost of commuting will drop from $245 to $125 per month at the end of this year. Meanwhile, as part of the deal struck in January to avert the fiscal cliff, tax benefits for drivers will remain unchanged. It is only the latest example of Congress’ short-sightedness regarding the needs of our nation’s public transportation systems and their riders.
The fact is, when it comes to transit, America is not at the head of the class by any means. According to the infrastructure report card released earlier this year by the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE), our nation’s public transit systems merit a “D” grade for lack of investment.
Instead of modernizing and expanding service to meet growing demand, America’s transit systems are spending their limited resources shoring up outdated subway stationsand repairing rail cars from the 1970s. That’s because the Highway Trust Fund, which pays for road and transit programs, is nearing insolvency and the patchwork solutions that legislators have passed since the last federal transportation bill expired in 2009 have been woefully inadequate…[Read More]