Transit Action Network (TAN)

Advocates for Improved and Expanded Transit in the Kansas City Region.

Don’t Let Congress Destroy Public Transit! Please call your Congressman Now!

Posted by Transit Action Network on February 12, 2012

H.R. 7, the “American Energy and Infrastructure Jobs Act,” would all but destroy public transit.  Debate starts in the House Monday, February 13.  Please call your Representative to oppose this bill unless significant changes are made.

Missouri:

Rep. Emanuel Cleaver (202) 225-4535

Rep. Sam Graves (202) 225-7041

Rep. Vicki Hartzler (202) 225-2876

 Kansas: 

Rep. Kevin Yoder (202) 225-2865

The proposed new federal transportation bill currently in the House of Representatives, H.R. 7, is a disaster for public transit.

  1. It de-funds public transit by removing it from the Highway Trust Fund, leaving public transit without the dedicated funding source it has had since the Reagan administration. This bill would force public transit to compete for money from General Revenue.
  2. Funding for bike and pedestrian safety are eliminated. Bicycle and pedestrian deaths make up 14% of all traffic fatalities.
  3. The bill gives transit providers incentives to begin privatizing public transit. Public goods like transit are not well served by privatization. England’s experience with privatization of transit was a failure.

H.R. 7 would dash any hope the Kansas City region has of upgrading its transit system in the future. Even maintaining the transit service we have today would be difficult because money for new buses, maintenance, and infrastructure needs would be harder to get.

Call your member of Congress now. You will be able to leave your concerns with either a staff person or a voicemail.

If you speak with a staff person, ask them how the Representative plans to vote.

a.   If they are in favor of H.R. 7, ask them to please reconsider or make the changes to the bill listed below.

b.   If they are against it, ask them to help change H.R. 7 or try to defeat it.

Ask them to oppose H.R. 7 unless these changes are made:

  1. Fully restore dedicated public transit funding to the Highway Trust Fund (most important)
  2. Include money for bike and pedestrian safety
  3. Eliminate proposed incentives for privatization

Tell them that public transit is critical for getting people to jobs, and also to job training.

Tell them that a recent study by the Economic Development Research Group, Inc., reported that investing $1 billion in public transit created 41,000 jobs, compared to 24,000 for capital and maintenance.

 Missouri:

Rep. Cleaver (202) 225-4535

Rep. Graves (202) 225-7041  

Rep. Hartzler (202) 225-2876

Kansans: 

Rep. Yoder (202) 225-2865

Get Contact Forms to email your representative.

You can also call the Capital Switchboard 220-224-3121 and ask to be connected to representatives.

Even if all of these issues are submitted as amendments to the bill, the House has to be convinced to accept them. A vote is expected this week.

The Senate’s version of a new transportation bill is very reasonable, so please focus on the House version.

For additional information:

Read the legislative briefing from David Warm, Executive Director of MARC, that was sent to our Congressional delegation.

Read DC.StreetsBlog: Why the House Transportation Bill Hits Bus Riders Especially Hard

The future of Public Transit is at risk. Please help spread the word!

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