Imagine if the tens of millions of Americans who ride public transit every day suddenly decided to drive. Roads in communities served by transit would choke on the extra traffic, and trucks could no longer deliver parts to factories or goods to market. Our economy would screech to a halt.
Providing more than 10 billion passenger trips per year, America's public transit systems play a critical role in keeping our economy moving, even for those who don't use transit. As more and more people turn to transit to get where they need to go, it becomes more and more important to keep our transit systems in good, safe condition.
As long as we make transit work reliably, passengers will continue to ride. But, where buses, trains, and other transit equipment have fallen into disrepair, we simply can't afford to ignore needed repairs.
So, today the Federal Transit Administration is announcing $826.5 million in discretionary funds available to modernize and repair transit vehicles and facilities in communities all across the country. Of that money, approximately $650 million will be used to replace or rehabilitate transit equipment. And, new to this round of funding, the FTA will also consider requests to expand or build new maintenance facilities if doing so will help to keep transit vehicles in good operating order.
In 2010 and 2011, the Obama Administration allocated more than $1.5 billion for more than 300 projects to help our nation’s transit systems achieve a state of good repair. The additional $650 million made available today brings that total to more than $2.3 billion. The need is out there, and these investments are critical.
If we are going to have an America built to last, we need to help provide businesses and families with the safest, fastest, and most efficient ways to connect with the opportunities our economy offers. As FTA Administrator Peter Rogoff said today, "These investments will ensure that transit remains a dependable option."
To build an economy that lasts, we need to get our public transit systems into a state of good repair. If we can't get people where they need to go, we won't be going anywhere.
Donate to Motion Center: