Letter in Support of Transit Assistance Act

Published 13 Oct, 2011

On Wednesday, October 12 TWU International President James C. Little sent a letter to all House of Representative members in support of the Carnahan/LaTourette Transit Assistance Act.
Dear Representative:
In the face of some of the highest ridership on public transportation ever, 85% of transit systems across this nation are struggling to maintain budgets and have had to settle for cutting service, raising fares, or worse leaving many without a job or the ability to get to one.
For years the Transport Workers Union of America, AFL-CIO has fought hard to have flexibility in capital funds allocated for transit. We believe that having new buses, new buildings, and new trains is commendable, but without the diligent and hard working employees, the system will never move.
Today, Rep. Russ Carnahan (D-MO) and Rep. Steve LaTourette (R-OH) along with 89 original cosponsors from both sides of the aisle have heard our call. With the introduction of the Flexibility for Transit Assistance Act, transit systems will gain local control of federal funds if the unemployment rate rises above 7% or the national price of gas has increased in the previous two months. The need for this legislation is desperate, and championing of Reps. Carnahan and LaTourette should not be taken lightly. We stand in support of their push for flexibility in spending capital fund for operating costs.

In the face of these hard economic times, the Local Flexibility for Transit Assistance Act is a significant step in addressing the issues before us. Not only do people need jobs but people need to get to their jobs. For every $1 billion spent, 36,000 jobs are either supported or created. It is clear that proper investments in the transportation sector have immediate returns, and we look forward to the passage of this significant legislation to help keep Americans at work as well as get them to work.

James C. Little

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