The American Public Transportation Association released a statement from President William A. Millar on the confirmation of the new U.S. Secretary of Transportation:
“The American Public Transportation Association (APTA) and its 1,500 members congratulate U.S. Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood on his swift Senate confirmation and we look forward to working with him on advancing public transportation to meet the growing public demand for transit services.
We stand ready to work with Secretary LaHood and the Department of Transportation on the important issues he articulated at his confirmation hearing. His four areas of concern – economic health, sustainability, a focus on livable communities, and safety – are all areas that concern the public transportation industry.
We look forward to working with him on the economic recovery legislation that will help the American workforce be employed, while also improving the public transit infrastructure. As of Jan. 13, the public transportation industry has identified nearly 800 transit projects that are ready-to-go within 90 days of federal funding. Totaling $15.9 billion, these projects would create and save more than 440,000 jobs.
We are also pleased that he focused on the importance of having a sustainable transportation system. Public transportation plays an important part in helping our nation reduce its carbon footprint. Every year, U.S. public transportation systems save 37 million metric tons of carbon; this is equivalent to the electricity used by 4.9 million households. To achieve a similar reduction in carbon emissions, every household in New York City, Washington, D.C., Atlanta, Denver, and Los Angeles would have to completely stop using electricity.
Additionally, public transportation use is critical in helping our country reduce its dependence on foreign oil. Every year, 4.2 billion gallons of gasoline are are saved thanks to public transportation use. “