Action Alert: Support Transit Operations!
This bill would help avert service cuts and fare hikes by transit operators by restoring federal funding for transit operations in larger cities. The measure also provides incentives for states like California to restore the funding for transit operations that was recently eliminated because of state budget deficits.
Support Federal Transit Operations Funding, Yes on H.R. 2746
We’re contacting your office to ask you to support and co-sponsor H.R. 2746 (Rep. Carnahan – MO). This bill would restore federal transit operating assistance to urbanized areas with populations over 200,000. The measure also provides incentives for states like California to restore the funding for transit operations that was recently eliminated because of state budget deficits.
The Bay Area is suffering from an unprecedented crisis in transit service. Virtually every transit operator, particularly AC Transit and BART, are cutting back transit service and increasing fares to deal with mounting budget shortfalls. The deficits for BART, AC Transit, Muni and VTA alone exceed $350 million. These cutbacks are falling most heavily on those who can least afford them – low income residents, youth, seniors and persons with disabilities. Hundreds of transit union workers in the region are also being laid off.
Federal support for transit operations is not new. For nearly 25 years, the federal government allowed transit agencies to use their transit formula grants to offset operating expenses. In the late 1990s, the Republican-controlled Congress eliminated operating grants under SAFETEA-LU, primarily as an anti-union attack against salaries, wages, and benefits. This change in the law created a structural imbalance in the way public transportation is financed and is responsible, in part, for the crisis we see today. Restoring federal operating assistance would help retain valuable union jobs, increase transit ridership, and curb green house gas emissions. In particular, it would help BART, AC and other transit operators in the East Bay to halt or minimize service cuts, fare hikes, and employee layoffs.
We respectfully urge you to give your full support to H.R. 2746 by signing on as a co-sponsor