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Letter: America needs to invest in public transportation

America needs to invest in public transportation

Public transportation systems across the country are awaiting passage of a desperately needed long-term transportation bill. The latest temporary funding extension will expire on Oct. 29. The U.S. Senate has provided funding for a three-year transportation bill, but the House of Representatives has still not acted. The House needs to pass a bill that provides stable long-term funding.

Every $1 invested in public transportation infrastructure yields $3 in economic benefits. Nationally, billions in economic productivity are at risk to the economy without long-term federal investment in public transit. This national issue has a real impact locally, benefitting residents of Buffalo-Niagara in many ways, including improving access to jobs and stimulating economic development and long-term growth.

Americans recognize the benefits of public transportation. According to a recent survey by the American Public Transportation Association and the Mineta Transportation Institute, 75 percent of Americans support using tax dollars to improve public transportation, and close to 70 percent agree that Congress should increase investment in public transportation infrastructure.

Maintaining the condition of our public transit infrastructure is an issue of critical importance – to our community and our nation. The short-term funding packages that have characterized the last decade of transportation investment are not sufficient to support robust and efficient public transportation systems across the country.

We urge our lawmakers to pass a long-term revenue source this year that increases investment to support our nation’s transportation infrastructure – including public transit.

Douglas Funke

President, Citizens for Regional Transit