On Earth Day, 39 California Environmental, Environmental Justice, Transit Rider, and Labor Organizations Call on Congress to Increase Funding for Public Transit
Frequent and reliable public transit is critical to reducing reliance on carbon-emitting cars and trucks, while also boosting economies and promoting racial justice
LOS ANGELES, CA -- Today, in recognition of Earth Day, 39 organizations representing environmental, transit rider, business, social justice, and organized labor groups sent a letter to the California congressional delegation urging them to increase federal investments in public transit “so that all Americans have access to high-quality, safe, affordable, and reliable public transit service and transit-friendly communities.”
“Reinventing the future of public transit infrastructure is key to tackling climate change,” the letter reads. “Over 28 percent of greenhouse gases in the U.S. come from transportation, making it the largest contributor of U.S. greenhouse gas emissions. In California, more than 50 percent of greenhouse gas emissions come from the transportation and oil and gas sectors. Now is the time to invest in the public transit infrastructure for the future.”
The signers call for Congress to invest $60 billion annually in public transit, including $20 billion in new spending on operations to pay for the additional drivers and new buses needed to expand service to additional communities, as well as funding for new zero-emissions fleets. In addition to the benefits of public transit for the planet, the letter says that this increased funding would boost local economies and promote racial equity.
The letter, organized by the National Campaign for Transit Justice and MoveLA, was signed by NRDC, Public Advocates, California League of Conservation Voters, ATU California Conference Board, SPUR, Jobs to Move America, California Bicycle Coalition, and others.
The American Jobs Plan introduced recently by President Joe Biden includes $85 billion in investments for public transit over 10 years, and doesn’t explicitly call for a boost in funding for transit operations.
“President Joe Biden has called for the country to build back better. We can’t build back better without robust investment in public transit infrastructure and operations… Public transit is the foundation of our communities and the economy. It must also be the scaffolding for the new economy we create,” the letter continues.