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September 23, 2011

Is public transit doomed for good?

by Alex Roman - Also by this author

To mark this week's "Don't X Out Public Transit Day," the American Public Transportation Association (APTA) released a new survey that focused on what the consequences would be on public transportation riders and systems around the country if a House of Representatives-proposed cut of more than one-third of federal funding for public transportation actually took place.

The survey showed that if the cuts were implemented, "public transit riders can expect service cutbacks, service delays and overcrowding, as systems will be forced to reduce service, lay off workers and forego maintenance projects and curtail critical service improvements."

The analysis estimated that over the six-year authorization period, 620,000 private and public sector jobs would be lost and $17.2 billion in transportation projects would be abandoned.

The cuts would also have a ripple effect into the private sector, with APTA estimating that 12,002 fewer buses, 6,113 fewer vans and small vehicles, and 2,268 fewer rail vehicles would be made in America over the six year authorization period.

The entire survey can be found here.

As I've mentioned before, the hope President Barack Obama brought that public transportation was turning a corner and taking its rightful place in the further development of this nation just a couple of years ago is now gone. And now, what is the industry left with?

While there is still support from the Administration, there are still no ideas for funding a new bill, and it is growing painfully obvious that the "Golden Age of public transportation," which lasted maybe a bit longer than a year, is done.

So, what do you think...is public transportation doomed for good?

In case you missed it...

Read our METRO blog, "From farm to table via public transit," here.

Alex Roman

Managing Editor


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  • DAve Mumma[ September 23th, 2011 @ 12:11pm ]

    As disheartening as the current House Republican proposal may be, it's only the latest in a series of "transit killer" bills that have been proposed over the years. Those who have been in the industry for any length of time, (30+ years in my case) have seen its demise predicted before and somehow despite the worst of predictions we've survived. Transit folks are a resilient and innovative lot - we've had to be, since by and large we've been at the end of the funding "food chain" for most of the time that the program has existed. That will likely be the case now and into the future; but somehow we'll "find a way" as we always have to make sure that we're still able to provide services for those who need it the most.

  • fwillkie@msn.com[ September 23th, 2011 @ 3:44pm ]

    I'm not sure what is going on with Public Transportation, but, someone out their is trying to cut down on Transit and Cancelled Transit altogether. while, there are people that must use Transit, due to living in the Burbs and can't afford a Car. in the 70's Minneapolis had among the best Transit in the Nation. but. when I-394 was build from Minneapolis to the western Burbs. it Obviously had cut down on service. meanwhile out to Stillwater, White Bear at one time there was service 7 days a week, not super. but, it got people back and forth at decent hours. now the only service is for the yuppies at Rush Hour. Same for San Diego. except for the whining end of town. the decent part of town have no service after Rush Hr. I'm not sure how we are to get people out of their cars. but, to cut down and no connection, actually turns people off and forced to drive. way to go. cut, cut, cut transit.

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