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Monday, October 05, 2009

APTA applauds transportation provisions in climate change proposal

Written by 

(Statement by APTA President William Millar)

"The ‘Clean Energy Jobs and American Power Act' introduced by Senators Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.) and John Kerry (D-Mass.) this week potentially offers important new funding to expand access to public transportation and improve our daily travels while reducing greenhouse gas emissions and oil consumption. APTA supports their efforts to move our nation toward a vibrant clean energy economy while controlling global warming.

"The bill introduces an innovative plan to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and petroleum consumption within the transportation sector, a much needed element in energy and climate legislation. Transportation is responsible for 28 percent of GHG emissions in the United States and approximately 70 percent of domestic oil consumption. If funded and enacted, the bill's plan for transportation will help improve transit service throughout the country and implement other important strategies

"The ‘Clean Energy Jobs and American Power Act' outlines potential direct investment in transit systems to expand and improve service in both urban and rural areas. Public transportation provides a great solution to address climate change. Transit use last year prevented the release of more than 37 million metric tons of carbon dioxide, the equivalent of electricity consumption by 4.9 million households. The bill would also create a competitive multi-modal program to fund transportation projects identified by new regional and state planning efforts to reduce vehicular emissions. This program could advance significant projects such as light-rail systems, bus-rapid-transit installations and subway extensions that improve land-use, spur private investment and significantly reduce transportation-related emissions in metropolitan areas.

In addition to benefiting the environment, these investments could be a significant source of employment. Every $1 billion invested in federally aided public transportation capital projects supports approximately 30,000 jobs

"We strongly urge the Senate to provide robust funding for transit and transportation investment in future versions of the ‘Clean Energy Jobs and American Power Act'."