The Bus Coalition and Community Transportation Association of America joined Co-Chairs, Congressmen David Young (R-IA) and Rick Larsen (D-WA), to announce the official launch of the Bipartisan Congressional Bus Caucus (BCBC). The purpose of BCBC is to give a stronger voice to the over 1,100 bus transit systems across the country and highlight the need for adequate federal funding of bus transit programs.
“In Iowa, public transit relies almost entirely on busses. Whether bringing folks to and from their jobs or to visit family and friends, public transit is critical to these folks’ lives and helping our rural communities thrive. I recognize bus transit is an asset in my district and across the country with transit systems like DART in the Des Moines area providing a critical service to economy,” said Congressman Young. “I am happy to be a co-chair of this caucus and look forward to working with my colleagues to advance important issues related to bus transit.”
The Caucus seeks to highlight the benefits of investing in bus systems, the challenges accompanying aging bus fleets and facilities, and encourage innovation in a rapidly changing transportation climate. The Caucus will raise awareness on Capitol Hill by holding occasional events to highlight the importance of transit agencies striving to deliver reliable service and meet a state of good repair.
Buses are the unsung hero in our nation’s transportation network and provide over 51% of transit trips per year. Every day, 14.9 million passenger trips are made across the country on buses. Added together, 5.44 billion bus transit trips per year provide access for people with disabilities, cost-effective transportation for low income riders and help commuters get to work, students to school, and patients to see their doctor. While buses may not get the attention of larger, urban transit modes, they are the backbone of the transit ecosystem and provide critical service in communities of all sizes.
“As President of The Bus Coalition and CEO of Link Transit, I see how funding cuts at the federal, state, and local level are impacting bus systems of all sizes. Many agencies are struggling to keep up with aging fleets and crumbling transit facilities,” said Richard DeRock, president of The Bus Coalition. “We know when systems age and service is cut, the rider experience suffers and ridership declines. That’s why I’m so excited about the formation of a new Congressional Caucus that will shine light on the needs of the bus transit community and give voice to a transportation asset that is so important to our local and national economy.”