Wednesday, May 26, 2010

$2 Billion Operating Assistance Bill Introduced

$2 Billion Operating Assistance Bill Introduced
WASHINGTON, DC: Senator Christopher Dodd, D-CT, chair of the Senate Banking Committee, introduced the Public Transportation Preservation Act of 2010 * this afternoon. ATU Legislative Director Jeff Rosenberg is to be commended for helping craft the language in the bill which would provide $2 billion in emergency operating assistance for public transit in the United States.

In a statement released this afternoon, International President Warren S. George urged the public to support the legislation:

Affordable, convenient public transit keeps cars off the road, reduces traffic and congestion and improves the air quality in our communities. Since January 2009, six out of ten public transit systems in the U.S. have cut service, raised fares, or both; thousands of transit workers have been laid off; and millions of commuters have less access to public transportation. Without emergency action, the problem will get worse -- seven out of ten transit systems are facing deficits in the coming year.

Passage of the legislation is far from assured. The ATU Legislative Department is urging ATU members to call their senators immediately.
You can find your senators' telephone number online at:
*This new bill is separate from the Sherrod Brown bill in the Senate and the Carnahan bill in the House which the ATU and TWU have been promoting as part of the Save Our Ride coalition. Those bills would allow all transit systems to use a portion of their federal dollars for operating expenses such as wages, rather than capital expenditures such as buses and transit stations.

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