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With the Election Near, Transit’s Future is on the Line

By Ed Wytkind

Photo courtesy of the ATU

Photo courtesy of the ATU

There are 42 days left until the presidential election between a challenger who wants to slash federal transit funding by 46 percent and a president who, after just 28 days in office, invested $8.4 billion in transit as part of his economic recovery plan.

Make no mistake, there are huge differences between where Gov. Mitt Romney and President Barack Obama will take this country’s transportation system.

That’s why today we launched RomneyWrecksTheBus.com — not coincidentally on the same day that Romney and his running mate, Rep. Paul Ryan, are touring Ohio — yes, on a bus.  Ignore the fiction you’ll hear from their tour.  Instead, transit workers and riders should take a tour on RomneyWrecksTheBus — learn how a Romney Administration would ruin essential public transit services through reckless budget cuts and risky restructuring proposals.  Learn that Romney would sell off our transit network to private companies that are only there to run those services that make them a buck.  Everyone else can walk.

We know that the terms “infrastructure” and “efficient transportation systems” do not generate the same passion as other issues being debated in the presidential election.  But anyone who works in the transit industry needs to know the facts, such as 500,000 transit and other transportation jobs would be cut in the first year under the Romney/Ryan transportation budget plan, or that Romney and Ryan are serial privatizers and outsourcers and want to eliminate public sector bargaining rights.

At a time when transit ridership in the U.S. is soaring, America can’t let the job-killing, transit service-cutting agenda of Romney take root.  If you want to protect public transit and good middle-class jobs, please spread the word and watch this space over the coming weeks for more news on what this election means for you, your job, your transit service and America’s future.

You can keep up at TTD.org, and follow us @TTDAFLCIO and spread the word on Facebook.

-@EdWytkind

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