On Wednesday, American Public Transportation Association (APTA) President William Millar urged the House of Representatives to reject reductions on transportation investment, including public transportation and high-speed intercity passenger rail programs, outlined in the Fiscal Year 2012 budget proposal by House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (R-WI).
“The budget plan proposed by Chairman Ryan would place ill-conceived limits on federal investment in transportation,” said Millar. “The House budget plan needlessly restricts investment options by calling for all transportation programs to be cut 30 percent or more. This would halt thousands projects needed in the years ahead to bring our nation’s public transportation infrastructure up to a state of good repair and build the capacity for millions of new riders.
“Instead of adopting limits on transportation investment, Congress needs to pass a well-funded, six-year, multimodal surface transportation bill. While transportation programs account for less than 3 percent of the federal budget, they support or create more than 2.5 million jobs annually. Modest changes to the collection of federal motor fuel user fees in a new surface transportation bill could easily eliminate the small amount of deficit spending in these programs.
“With gas prices rising steadily, now is not the time to place misguided restrictions on public transportation and high-speed and intercity passenger rail investment. The nation needs to make significant, long-term investments in public transportation or we will leave Americans with limited travel options, or in many cases, stranded without travel options. Public transit is the quickest way for people to beat high gas prices if it is available.”
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