Washington, DC – Larry Willis, president of the Transportation Trades Department, AFL-CIO (TTD), issues this statement applauding Sen. Robert Menendez (D-NJ) and a group of 26 U.S. Senators for urging Senate Leadership to prioritize $32 billion in emergency support for our nation’s public transit systems amid the ongoing Coronavirus crisis:
“We applaud Sen. Robert Menendez and 26 of his Senate colleagues for recognizing the true costs the Coronavirus pandemic has had on our nation’s transit systems, and calling for the kind of robust federal support that will ensure these vital services, and the working people who maintain and operate them, can weather this ongoing crisis.
“As we enter month four of the COVID-19 crisis, it is becoming clear that relief funding for transit agencies in the CARES Act, while welcome, was simply not enough. Ongoing losses at the farebox, decreased tax revenue, and increased costs associated with the pandemic mean transit agencies across the country are struggling to maintain the means needed to keep buses and trains running on time. Meanwhile, the frontline workers who operate and maintain these systems continue to work through the pandemic, putting their lives on the line to ensure first responders, health care workers, and other safety personnel can get to their jobs, and families can access groceries, health care, and other vital services.
“Preserving public transit and ensuring the safety of these systems for both workers and riders will be essential to this country’s economic recovery in the months and years ahead. We thank Sen. Menendez for his leadership, and look forward to working with Congress to ensure our nation’s frontline transit workforce has the resources it needs to see us through this crisis and beyond.”