APTA urges Congress to pass emergency transit assistance

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(Statement by American Public Transportation Association President William Millar) "On behalf of the American Public Transportation Association's more than 1,500 member organizations, we commend Senators Dodd, Durbin, Schumer, Menendez, Lautenberg and Brown for introducing the ‘Public Transportation Preservation Act of 2010,' which authorizes $2 billion in funds for emergency transit operating assistance.  APTA strongly supports this legislation and stands ready to help secure its immediate passage.

"America’s transit systems are facing an
unprecedented crisis, as diminishing state and local resources to support
operating budgets are leading to scores of service reductions, fare increases
and employee layoffs. According to a survey of its members that APTA completed
in March 2010, 84 percent of transit systems have implemented service cuts or
raised fares, or are considering these measures. More than half of all transit
agencies have eliminated positions and one in three have been forced to lay off
employees.  Among the larger transit systems, layoffs and staff cuts have
been even more common.

"The Public Transportation Preservation Act of 2010
will provide urgently needed funding to alleviate the financial challenges
facing public transportation systems as a result of the recession. As you know,
Americans rely on public transportation to go about their daily lives, from
getting to work, school, or obtaining medical care. In addition, public
transportation is a key economic engine that is vital for recovery – every $1
billion in investment creates 36,000 high quality "green" jobs.

"We commend the leadership of the Senators for
introducing the act which will provide temporary assistance to preserve and
create American jobs during these difficult economic times. These funds will
provide needed transportation services to the public, and we look forward to
working with the Congress to help secure swift passage of this vital
legislation."

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