The sudden flip in the Senate could have transit officials doing spinning cartwheels by the end of 2021.
Both Jon Ossoff and Raphael Warnock, the Democrats who claimed Senate seats after winning Georgia runoffs, are both big advocates of transit and green infrastructure.
The Democrats now hold a slim majority in the Senate, and word is already circulating that a historical infrastructure bill could be passed once the Fixing America’s Surface Transportation Act expires in September. In fact, the new administration could start pushing for a new bill as early as February. The new Senate also is expected to move on another COVID-19 relief bill, which would mean more money for struggling transit agencies.
During his campaign, Warnock called for a major reinvestment in a clean economy based on green transportation and energy infrastructure and said he wanted to improve and expand public transportation. Meanwhile, Ossoff told voters he wants an “unprecedented American infrastructure program that includes big, overdue investments in transportation and transit.”
New York Sen. Chuck Schumer will soon be majority leader of the Senate, and he has repeatedly called for a robust and green infrastructure bill. The next Secretary of Transportation, Pete Buttigieg, also is being viewed as a positive appointment for infrastructure, especially transit.