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Transportation labor, APTA press urgent need for additional public transportation relief funding

The Honorable Charles E. Schumer
Majority Leader
United States Senate
S-221, The Capitol
Washington, DC 20510

The Honorable Nancy Pelosi
Speaker of the House
United States House of Representatives
H-232, The Capitol
Washington, DC 20515

The Honorable Mitch McConnell
Republican Leader
United States Senate
S-230, The Capitol
Washington, DC 20510

The Honorable Kevin McCarthy
Republican Leader
United States House of Representatives
H-204, The Capitol
Washington, DC 20515

Dear Leader Schumer, Speaker Pelosi, Leader McConnell, and Leader McCarthy:

On behalf of the millions of Americans who rely on public transportation every day, the 435,000 frontline workers who operate and maintain public transit and commuter rail systems in communities of all size across our country, and passenger advocates, we urge you to provide an additional $39.3 billion in emergency funding to help public transit agencies provide safe, reliable service as they continue to grapple with the financial burden caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Although the COVID-19 pandemic has undoubtedly impacted transit ridership since last spring, millions of Americans continue to rely on public transportation services as an absolutely vital lifeline to access their jobs, food, and other critical services. Unfortunately, the continued direct costs and revenue losses resulting from the impacts of COVID-19 are placing an incredible strain on our ability to continue providing this critical public service to those who continue to rely on it the most.

The undersigned organizations and the transit providers, workers, and riders we represent truly appreciate Congress’ support for public transit in the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act) and the Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act of 2021 (CRRSAA). These emergency funds meant the difference between keeping buses, trains, and other forms of public transportation running, or shuttering services with disastrous effects for essential workers and our economy.

However, we are far from in the clear. As highlighted by the American Public Transportation Association, an independent economic analysis found that public transit agencies face a projected funding shortfall of $39.3 billion through 2023.

With light finally at the end of this tunnel, the worst thing we could do now for American workers and our economic recovery would be to needlessly hamstring our recovery by allowing public transit services to be cut and workers to be furloughed or laid off. From the direct jobs in American manufacturing, design, construction, maintenance, operations, and management, to the millions of Americans who rely on public transportation every day, ensuring the continuity of service will be essential to helping us rebuild at the other end of this pandemic.

Please know that labor and management stand together during this difficult time. We respectfully urge you to provide the $39.3 billion in emergency funding that this national crisis demands.

Sincerely,

John A. Costa
International President
Amalgamated Transit Union

Jeremy Ferguson
President
International Association of Sheet Metal, Air, Rail, and Transportation Workers
– Transportation Division

Greg Regan
Secretary-Treasurer
Transportation Trades Department, AFL-CIO

John Samuelsen
International President
Transport Workers Union of America

Paul P. Skoutelas
President and CEO
American Public Transportation Association

 

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