Last year, the House of Representatives passed the Jobs for Main Street Act
, which provided significant funding for infrastructure and public transportation. While the Senate continues to debate a new jobs package
, NYSTEA has been urging New York State representatives and senators to increase funding for public transit as well as maintain flexibility for transit operating assistance within this potential legislation.
Members of NYSTEA and residents from across New York State travelled to Washington D.C. in late January to discuss the public transportation struggles their communities currently face. In conversations with Congressional staff we discussed issues such as:
- Fare increases
- Service cuts
- Pollution and public health concerns
- Civil rights protection in transportation decision-making
Following our meetings, nine New York State Representatives sent a letter to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi asking her to increase funding for public transit and to ensure that the 10% flexible transit operating assistance language would remain in any jobs bill. NYSTEA would especially like to thank the offices of Rep. Edolphus Towns and Rep. Nydia Velázquez for their leadership in organizing this effort.
NYSTEA will continue to advocate for a robust jobs bill with meaningful transit investments as well as a progressive and equitable federal transportation bill. Federal policy has for too long focused on supporting sprawl and continuing our reliance on the automobile. Now is the time to shift our priorities to building sustainable and livable communities for all New Yorkers.
Cecil, James, Kate, Katie, Peter, Soledad, Veronica, and Ya-Ting