We are writing you because one of your senators is on the key Senate committee deciding the fate of public transportation right now.
All across the country, hundreds of transit agencies are in dire budgetary straits: they're cutting back on service, laying off workers, and hiking fares. Alexander in Los Angeles described to us how cuts have affected him:
... I am deeply disappointed by the service cuts. I used to be a regular MTA patron (in Los Angeles), however while the subway and LRT service is more or less OK, the bus service has fallen to a completely unacceptable level. …15-minute headways on some lines turned to 40-minute intervals; this is no exaggeration. I am now back to driving (polluting the air and adding to gridlock, having no other choice…)
Of course, Alexander is somewhat lucky, in that he can afford a car and gas to make it to work each day. Millions of others depend on public transportation each day and have no other options to lean on when their bus starts coming once an hour instead of every 15 minutes.
Tell the Senate Banking Committee to include flexible funding for public transportation operations in their draft transportation bill.
Transit agencies in our larger cities aren’t allowed to use the federal dollars they receive to keep trains and buses running, even in this difficult time.
The Senate committee with jurisdiction over transit is writing their portion of the transportation bill now. And they need to know that it’s important to give transit agencies the flexibility to use their money not just to buy new buses or railcars but for the operation of those buses and trains.
Public transportation ridership has been growing three times faster than the US population to reach record highs. Public transit is a driving force in our economy, and we need it now to help the economy rebound.
So tell your Senators on the Banking Committee to support flexibility for public transportation operations.
Thank you again for stepping forward to help.
Stephen Lee Davis
Deputy Communications Director
Transportation for America