September 19, 2011

Advocates to rally to preserve transit nationwide

While the six-month extension of the surface transportation authorization bill passed by Congress last week is important, public transit advocates are concerned about the short and long-term outlook for public transit funding. 

The House of Representatives has proposed to cut more than one-third of federal funding across the board for public transit and surface transportation programs. If these cuts are implemented, transit riders can expect service delays and service cutbacks as transit systems will be forced to reduce service and forego critical service improvement and maintenance projects. Jobs in the private sector will be lost.

Public transit systems, businesses, employees, riders and advocates are joining together at rallies around the country on Sept. 20 with a message for Congress: ‘Don’t X Out Public Transit.’

On Don’t X Out Public Transit Day, APTA will release a survey highlighting what a one-third cut in federal funding would mean to transit systems nationwide, and hold a panel discussion conference call Sept. 20 at 11:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. EST with transit leaders and advocates to discuss the impact of the cuts and the national Don’t X Out Public Transit campaign. To participate, call (866) 200-6965 and use passcode: 72634618#.
Panel discussion participants will include:  
         
• William Millar – president of APTA.

• John Robert Smith –co-chair of Transportation for America, president and CEO of Reconnecting America.

• Larry Hanley – president of the Amalgamated Transit Union.

• Portia Reddick White – director of department of legislative and political affairs, Transport Workers Union of America, AFL,CIO.

• Patrick Scully - chief commercial officer, Daimler Buses North America.

Don’t X Out Public Transportation Day is the combined effort of the Amalgamated Transit Union; American Public Transportation Association; National Association of Public Transportation Advocates in Action; Reconnecting America; Transit Riders for Public Transportation; Transportation for America; the Transportation Equity Network; Transportation Workers Union, and transit riders and advocates across the country.

This national rally day and call to action highlights the severe effects a more than a one-third cut to federal transit funding would have and the need for increased investment in public transportation. More information about the rallies and events happening around the country on September 20 can be found at www.supporttransit.org.

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