Transportation Industry Leaders Join Forces at DC Conference in Advance of Critical Funding Deadline

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For Immediate Release

Transportation Industry Leaders Join Forces at DC Conference in Advance of Critical Funding Deadline

Washington, D.C. (March 10, 2014) – Transportation industry leaders and agencies from across the country met at the annual American Public Transportation Association (APTA) conference in Washington, D.C. today to discuss the dire state of transportation infrastructure and its affect on millions of American families and businesses in advance of the expiration of MAP-21.

Getting America to Work (GATW), a coalition of 87 transit agencies from 16 states, held a briefing at the conference to discuss its advocacy efforts for long-term infrastructure investment to address the nearly $80 billion spending backlog facing our country’s bus and rail systems.

“Public transportation is reliable, affordable and essential for millions of commuters, and we need to keep it that way. Our systems are overwhelmed by increasing ridership and decreasing federal investment – leaving commuters at risk and economic growth on the line,” says GATW Advisory Board Member and Executive Director of the Oklahoma Transit Association, Steve Lalli. “Congress must understand the challenges facing transit agencies, and find a long-term funding solution that works before the expiration of MAP-21 in September.”

The APTA conference follows the release of the President’s recent budget request, which includes a $302 billion commitment to surface transportation investment, allotting $72 billion to public transit. It also comes on the heels of a number of funding options recommended by lawmakers – including one by Rep. Dave Camp, whose tax overhaul bill dedicates $126.5 billion over ten years to partially address the Highway Trust Fund (HTF) shortfall, which is the predominant revenue source of federal transportation programs.

“The President’s proposal is a step in the right direction, and would begin to tackle the deficit facing our transit systems, ultimately ensuring the safety of our riders,” says GATW Advisory Board Member and Acting Executive Director of the Regional Transportation Authority, Leanne Redden. “Congress needs to move quickly on the President’s proposal, and consider that any delay would risk American jobs, and our economic and global competitiveness.”

The Getting America to Work coalition has been working alongside the Congressional Public Transportation Caucus to educate members of Congress on the long-lasting economic impact of transportation in their districts, and to help them understand the myriad options available for transit funding. Members of the coalition have also offered themselves as a resource to Chairman Shuster as he and his committee work to draft a surface transportation-funding bill to replace MAP-21.

Every dollar spent on transit generates an economic return of four to one, providing jobs and improving transit performance. The GATW coalition supports a reauthorization of MAP-21 that efficiently funds transportation infrastructure for at least six years in the dozens of rural and urban centers that rely on transit – thereby supporting jobs and economic growth across the country.

Getting America to Work (GATW) is a broad coalition of commuters, business groups, officials and transportation agencies that support vital investments in public transit. For more information, visit www.GettingAmericaToWork.org.