TRANSIT: Proposed federal budget cuts could threaten $38 billion in public transit projects

April 27, 2017

A report from APTA and the Economic Development Group estimates hundreds of thousands of transit-related jobs would be at risk as a result of the Trump administration's budget cuts

Transit advocates are sounding the alarm over the impact of President Trump’s proposed budget cuts, saying they would jeopardize $38 billion worth of planned public transportation projects.

The administration, which is working on a $1 trillion infrastructure package, has floated a $2.4 billion cut—or 13%—to the U.S. Department of Transportation (U.S. DOT). The spending blueprint also would limit funding for the Federal Transit Administration's Capital Investment program and federal support for long-distance Amtrak trains.

The proposal, if enacted, would threaten 800,000 construction and related jobs associated with transit projects that are currently in the pipeline, as well as 300,000 longer-term jobs associated with economic productivity, according to a report from the American Public Transportation Association (APTA) and the Economic Development Research Group. The report comes as Congress prepares to fund the government, whose current funding expires at the end of the week.

Meanwhile, the 2016 GOP platform calls for entirely eliminating federal funding for mass transit, bike-share programs, sidewalks and rail-to-rail projects. But GOP transportation leaders on Capitol Hill have pushed back against some of Trump’s proposed U.S. DOT budget cuts.

Lawmakers have also called for an infrastructure-funding boost that was already approved and paid for by Congress in 2015. Under the Fixing America's Surface Transportation (FAST) Act, passed in December 2015, investments in Highway Trust Fund transportation projects were supposed to increase by $2.4 billion starting in fiscal 2017. But Congress has been operating under a continuing resolution (CR) that has maintained fiscal 2016 spending levels.

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