The American Public Transportation Association (APTA) applauded the House of Representative’s Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure’s Budget Reconciliation Title, which provides $30 billion in COVID-19 emergency funding relief for public transit.
The proposed funding includes $1.5 billion in emergency funding for Amtrak.
“The proposed funding is vital to the industry’s survival and will help prevent massive labor cuts and drastic service reductions,” said APTA President and CEO Paul P. Skoutelas in a statement. “A recent independent, economic analysis conducted by EBP US Inc. for APTA found that public transit agencies face a projected shortfall of $39.3 billion. While initial rounds of emergency funding provided transit agencies across the nation with relief, public transit funding needs continue to grow due to ongoing losses of ridership, fare revenue, and state and local tax revenue.”
Transportation unions and organizations have requested nearly $113 billion in aid, many of them since the end of January.
APTA requested $39.3 billion, while Amtrak requested $1.5 billion – in addition to the $2 billion operating fund already in the budget.
Advocates have asked for $40 billion for the U.S. motorcoach, school bus and passenger vessel, and ferry companies. Airlines have asked for $15 billion to pay staff after emergency funding in the latest round of Coronavirus stimulus wears out, while airports have asked for $17 billion to help pay for their debt service on bonds, (and) keep their critical health, safety, and security projects on track.
“The $30 billion of emergency funding included in the Budget Reconciliation Title is essential to providing the public transportation industry with long-term certainty critical to the nation’s economic recovery,” Skoutelas said. “The time is now to invest more in our nation’s public transportation infrastructure to support jobs, reconnect Americans, and build the necessary infrastructure network to provide critical public transit services and economic opportunities for all.”