Statement by APTA President and CEO Michael Melaniphy:
“On behalf of the 1,500 members of the American Public Transportation Association (APTA), we commend the Congress for passage of a bi-partisan surface transportation bill titled “Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century (MAP21)”. Previously, the public transportation industry was operating under nine short-term extensions of the surface transportation authorization since 2009. MAP21 provides for stable funding for public transportation for two years and will go through September 2014. This new bill will provide for a greater degree of certainty for public transit agencies and private sector businesses as they maintain, plan and implement public transportation projects. It includes improvements to keep our systems in a state of good repair; streamlines delivery of public transit projects; provides funding for new start projects and for a bus replacement and a bus facility program.
We urge the President to sign this bill into law because investing in public transit is essential to creating American jobs and boosting our economy. We applaud the Congress for moving forward a measure that will have a great impact on the millions of Americans who rely on public transportation everyday for their transportation needs. We look forward to working with the Congress and Administration as we help implement this jobs bill for the nation.”
According to an article in USA Today, transit agencies across the nation are showing record or near-record ridership for the first quarter of 2012. The American Public Transportation Association(APTA) announced bus ridership increased in 34 out of 37 large cities. Omnitrans saw an 8% increase in ridership for January February and March.
“High gas prices were part of the reason for this large first quarter ridership increase,” said APTA President and CEO Michael Melaniphy. “More and more people are choosing to save money by taking public transportation when gas prices are high.”
Get a FREE ride on Omnitrans!
Are high gas prices getting you down? Thinking about making the move to public transit? Visit the Omnitrans website for a printable coupon that will allow you to ride the bus for free on national Dump the Pump Day, June 21st. You can also find a free ride coupon in the Sunday, June 17th editions of the San Bernardino Sun and the Inland Valley Daily Bulletin.
Since 1983, nearly half of all public transportation funding has come from the federal motor fuels tax dedicated to the Highway Trust Fund. This funding structure provides highway and transit programs with secure, dedicated revenues which Omnitrans and other transit systems around the country rely on to maintain their services, create jobs and foster economic growth.
Under the proposed House bill H.R. 3864, the federal American Energy and Infrastructure Jobs Financing Act, dedicated federal fuels taxes for public transit funding would be eliminated. Highway and transit programs would receive no funding after 2016, following a one-time appropriation for 2013-2016
The proposed changes would have dire consequences for Omnitrans and the thousands of people in the San Bernardino Valley who rely on public transit. Our agency depends on FTA funding for bus and equipment purchases, preventive maintenance and construction projects such transit centers, operating facilities and the sbX bus rapid transit line. We will provide16 million trips this year for riders, including 2.4 million trips for students and over 3.3 million trips for seniors and persons with disabilities. The proposed legislation will have a huge impact on their freedom and quality of life.
Please visit the American Public Transportation Association at www.apta.com to learn more about this bill and how you can take action.
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