With Congress focused on health care legislation, the transportation bill is stagnant and not expected to move in the near term. However, the state of the economy is giving momentum to the "Job's Bill" currently being debated in Washington D.C. Given that investment in transit capital and operations yields a significant amount of jobs, NYSTEA has been meeting with legislators to win support for transportation funding in the Jobs Bill.
Early this January, NYSTEA steering committee members met with Senator Kirsten Gillibrand's staff to discuss critical equity policies we hope to see included in this legislation, such as federal assistance for transit operations and workforce development goals for low income communities and communities of color.
Following this meeting, Senator Gillibrand sent a letter to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, asking him for $15 billion for transit systems in NY. She also pressed for flexible funding for transit operating expenses which help create jobs as well as prevent service cuts and fare hikes, a key component of the NYSTEA platform!
NYSTEA members will be traveling to Washington D.C. this week to continue promoting such policies in the proposed 'Jobs Bill' and the upcoming federal transportation legislation.
We encourage our members to call their congressional representatives and urge them to support:
- A solid and meaningful investment in transit
- Highway funds for maintenance only. Discourage highway expansion!
- Funds for transit operating costs
Your support demonstrates that New Yorkers want a transformative and equitable transportation future. We will continue to push for this vision together.
Cecil, James, Kate, Katie, Peter, Soledad, Veronica, and Ya-Ting