Recently, there has been an outpour of support for one of our most important transportation equity demands - flexible funding for transit operating assistance. Currently, large urban areas are barred from using federal transit dollars for operating expenses. Due to the current budget crisis facing transit agencies across the country, Congress allowed a one-time exception for 10% of transit stimulus funds to be used to keep buses and trains running. Unfortunately, this short term solution is not enough.
Here in New York State and across the country, transit riders and workers are facing severe service cuts, fare hikes, and lay-offs. As the majority of transit users nationwide, people of color and low-income communities are disproportionately impacted by these cuts and would be most positively affected by this policy change.
NYSTEA is working to advance sustainable, equitable, green, and job-creating policies within the federal transportation bill. Both the maintenance and expansion of public transportation are essential to these ends. This summer we plan to meet with our local partners to discuss our campaign in more detail. Hope to see you then!
Cecil, Drew,James, Kate, Katie, Peter, Soledad, Veronica, and Ya-Ting