Thursday, February 2, 2012

Impending Disaster Looms for Transit Projects

UPDATE: follow this link to hear brilliant and passionate criticism of this bill on the house floor by Congressman Peter DeFazio (D-OR) .
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I have a couple more posts about a few of the railroad stations I passed through on my extensive rail journey last summer, but would like to interrupt that by sharing the following with you. This came by email today from Transportation for America, a non-partisan, non-profit organization advocating a nationwide, integrated transportation system.


A key House Committee is threatening to kill three decades of successful investments in mass transit — originally started under President Ronald Reagan — by ending the guarantee for dedicated funding for public transportation, leaving millions of riders already faced with service cuts and fare increases out in the cold.

In a stunning development late last night, House leadership and the Ways and Means committee made a shocking attack on transit that would have huge impacts for the millions of people who depend on public transportation each day.

They proposed putting every public transportation system in immediate peril by eliminating guaranteed funding for the Mass Transit Account and forcing transit to go begging before Congress for general funds each year — all while highway spending continues to be guaranteed with protected funds for half a decade at a time.

This incredible move would roll back 30+ years of bipartisan federal transportation policy and reverse a decision made by President Reagan in the 1980’s to fund our nation’s transit system out of a small share of gas tax revenues. This change would mean no more guarantee of funding each year and no long-term stability for public transportation. States, cities, communities and their transit systems could lose billions.

It seems there is no end to the short-sightedness and even monumental stupidity that exists within large segments of our elected officials in Washington. (Please note that I do my best to keep this blog non-partisan, but the plain and simple truth is that, when it comes to transportation issues, 99 percent of that short-sightedness and stupidity comes from members of the Republican Party.)

Emails and phone calls to your Members of Congress are very important and have a powerful impact. Go here for a fast, easy way to do that.

May I also suggest that a membership in NARP, the National Association of Railroad Passengers, is another way to actively work for more and better trains throughout the United States. Thanks!

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