Coalition Urges Chairman Shuster to Support Increased Investment In Transit Infrastructure

Letter from Getting America to Work to Chairman Bill Shuster

Chairman Bill Shuster
Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure
2165 Rayburn House Office Building
Washington, DC 20515

Dear Chairman Shuster –

As the process begins for drafting a new transportation bill to succeed MAP-21, we are writing as a coalition of over 80 transportation organizations to urge you to support increased federal investment in transit to keep our economy growing and to keep our riders safe. Our coalition supports an increase in capital funding necessary to bring all of America’s public transit systems into a state of good repair. We know this investment will preserve and create the jobs and economic development transit supports, and we hope you will consider us a resource as you begin crafting the next transportation bill.

Getting America to Work represents both urban and rural transportation agencies across the country. Our mission is to educate members of Congress on the vital economic impact public transportation has in our local communities, and our priorities are as follows:

  • Authorize a federal transit program that provides predictable and sustainable long-term funding to accommodate the development of major capital investments needed to begin the process of bringing existing public transportation infrastructure and facilities into a state of good repair; expand current infrastructure investment and support the maintenance of these investments;
  • Increase federal investment for public transportation and transportation infrastructure generally through multiple sources of funding including the federal gas tax, TIFIA, public private partnerships (P3s) and new innovative mechanisms for financing capital improvements to supplement, not supplant, transit grant funding at the federal level;
  • Protect and preserve the Mass Transit Account within the Highway Trust Fund (HTF) and increase revenues to the Mass Transit Account which are dedicated to the federal transit program;
  • Increase funding for a national State of Good Repair program to address high-cost capital maintenance backlogs;
  • Examine options for raising revenue for transportation investment in any grand budget bargain;
  • Support comprehensive approaches to multi-modal corridor planning and continue eligibility for multi- 
modal transit systems to access bus and bus facilities formula funding;
  • Continue the pre-tax transit commuter benefit in parity with the pre-tax benefit for qualified parking. 
As you know, every dollar spent on transit generates an economic return of at least 4 to 1 and every $1 billion of capital spending on transit creates 24,000 jobs. These are jobs that we cannot afford to lose. In the face of increasing ridership and diminishing federal funds, it’s critical that we consider the challenges facing transit everyday.

Getting America to Work is made up of commuters, businesses, officials and transportation agencies that support vital investments in public transit. The coalition is dedicated to finding innovative solutions to funding America’s transit infrastructure and the $80 billion spending backlog needed to bring the country’s transit systems into a state of good repair.

We thank you for your leadership and look forward to working with you to address the many challenges facing public transportation systems across the country. Please consider the members of Getting America to Work a resource to you and your staff, and we hope to work together to meet the needs of riders and local businesses that rely on public transportation.

The Getting America to Work Advisory Board

Joe Costello, Executive Director
Regional Transportation Authority
Chicago, IL

Jeff Nelson, General Manager
Rock Island, Illinois

Mike Scanlon, General Manager and CEO
San Mateo County Transit District/Peninsula Corridor Joint Powers Board
San Carlos, CA

Stephen Lalli, Executive Director
Oklahoma Transit Association
Oklahoma City, OK

Keith T. Parker, AICP, General Manager and CEO
Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority
Atlanta, GA

Phil Washington, General Manager
Regional Transportation District
Denver, CO