APTA is a nonprofit international association of 1,500 public- and private-sector organizations which represent a $80 billion industry that directly employs 448,000 people and supports millions of private sector jobs. - Photo: APTA

APTA is a nonprofit international association of 1,500 public- and private-sector organizations which represent a $80 billion industry that directly employs 448,000 people and supports millions of private sector jobs.

Photo: APTA

The American Public Transportation Association (APTA) and a broad coalition of 45 industry partners sent letters requesting Congress and the Administration to provide at least $10 billion of additional public transit investment in the Build Back Better Act, according to the company’s press release.

“These bold investments in public transportation in the Build Back Better Act will enable us to tackle climate change, advance equity, and meet the growing and evolving mobility demands of our communities,” said APTA president and CEO Paul P. Skoutelas. “Investing in public transit and high-speed rail will significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions, improve air quality and public health, and help transform our nation’s transportation network for a sustainable future. Public transportation creates access to opportunities, including jobs, health care, and education, which can help our communities address the equity challenges that they face.”

The letters also urge Congress and the Administration to provide significant, dedicated high-speed rail funding in the bill.

“The bipartisan group of Senators and the White House agreed to boost transit funding by $49 billion in the deal they proudly touted,” said Beth Osborne, director of Transportation for America. “But they dropped $10 billion, abandoning their own deal for no reason. Now it is up to the House to restore this funding which will be essential to getting people back to jobs and to essential services and addressing our climate goals.”

A broad coalition of national associations representing public transit, high-speed rail, labor, environmental, local government, mobility, and construction interests were the letters’ signatories.

“Public transportation and high-speed rail systems connect working families to new opportunities and support economic growth in local and regional communities,” said Greg Regan, president of the Transportation Trades Department, AFL-CIO (TTD). “For millions of working Americans, access to a reliable, safe bus, subway, or rail line can be life changing. Bold investments in these systems—and the good jobs they help create and sustain—are central to the president’s Build Back Better agenda.”

APTA and the broad coalition said they look forward to working with Congress and the Administration on the reconciliation bill.

“Transit is one of the most important investments we can make to address racial inequity and tackle the climate crisis,” said Bianca Oden, a senior strategist at NRDC (Natural Resources Defense Council). “Congress should deliver substantial new investment to expand service, provide long-overdue upgrades and support jobs. Without the necessary support for transit, we will all be worse off.”

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