The American Public Transportation Association (APTA) issued a statement from APTA President and CEO Paul P. Skoutelas regarding the resolution introduced by the U.S. House of Representatives that will extend federal government programs, including an extension of current surface transportation authorization funding levels.
The statement reads as follows:
“The American Public Transportation Association (APTA), on behalf of the entire public transportation industry, commends the House Committee on Appropriations for their introduction today of H.R. 8319, the ‘Continuing Appropriations Act, 2021 and Other Extensions Act.’
H.R. 8319 addresses both transportation appropriations and surface transportation issues, preventing a federal government shutdown and continuing current appropriations through December 11, 2020. In addition, the bill includes a one-year extension of the surface transportation authorization act.
If enacted, this bill will provide public transit agencies with much-needed certainty regarding public transit funding in FY 2021. The Surface Transportation Extension Act, specifically, authorizes at least $12.6 billion for public transit investment and will prevent a $6 billion across-the-board cut to public transit agencies while also providing $3.2 billion to the Mass Transit Account of the Highway Trust Fund.
The introduction of this bill is critical to the industry and it will provide certainty to capital programs. Congress still needs to address the dire situation faced by public transportation systems large and small, from coast-to-coast. As ongoing COVID-19 emergency funding conversations occur on Capitol Hill, APTA implores both chambers of Congress and the Administration to provide at least $32 billion in critical federal support to enable the industry to survive during this unprecedented pandemic. We continue to serve essential employees every day, but without additional emergency funding, many transit agencies will soon need to cut transit services and routes and furlough transit workers, leaving our communities without service and jobs when they need us most.”
SOURCE: American Public Transportation Association