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Transportation Labor Calls for Additional, Urgently Needed Transit Assistance

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

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

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

The Honorable Chuck Schumer
Minority Leader
United States Senate
S-221, The Capitol
Washington, DC  20510

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

As you know, the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act provided desperately needed support to keep public transportation services across the country from coming to a complete halt. To that end, your bold leadership has already protected hundreds of thousands of jobs and is ensuring that critical employees including health care workers, law enforcement personnel, and first responders can get to and from work each day in rural and urban communities alike. We write today to urge you to continue that leadership by including $32 billion in emergency supplemental funds for public transit in the next COVID response bill.

It has become clear that this ongoing crisis is much more costly than previously anticipated, and that public transportation will need another significant infusion to remain operational for the foreseeable future. Fifteen of the largest public transit agencies in the country recently sent you a letter projecting deficits as high as $8.9 billion due to lost farebox receipts, decreased tax revenue, and increased costs associated with the pandemic. The Metropolitan Transportation Association (MTA) has estimated that transit programs across the country will need an additional $32 billion through the end of 2021. The Transportation Trades Department, AFL-CIO and the undersigned unions agree with this assessment and strongly encourage you to appropriate this level of funding.

Yesterday, the American Public Transportation Association (APTA) outlined a clear case for why significant additional funding will be necessary to fund transit systems through FY 2021. We agree with the spirit of APTA’s analysis and request; however, it is clear that the $23.8 billion they call for is far too conservative an estimate, and would be insufficient to fully address the problems our systems are facing.

On behalf of all essential workers and others who utilize transit across the country, we urge you to include at least $32 billion in any new COVID response vehicle in order to maintain the safe, healthy operation of public transportation.

 

Sincerely,

Amalgamated Transit Union

American Federation of State, County & Municipal Employees

Brotherhood of Railroad Signalmen

International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers

International Association of Sheet Metal, Air, Rail and Transportation Workers

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

International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers

International Brotherhood of Teamsters

National Conference of Firemen & Oilers, SEIU

Transportation Communications Union/IAM

Transportation Trades Department, AFL-CIO

Transport Workers Union of America

 

CC:      The Honorable Peter DeFazio

The Honorable Samuel Graves

The Honorable Nita Lowey

The Honorable Kay Granger

The Honorable David E. Price

The Honorable Mario Diaz-Balart

The Honorable Michael Crapo

The Honorable Sherrod Brown

The Honorable Richard Shelby

The Honorable Patrick Leahy

The Honorable Susan Collins

The Honorable Jack Reed

 

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