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APTA leads coalition against drastic budget cuts

US body warns that proposed THUD Bill reductions will hit every State.

The American Public Transportation Association (APTA)
is leading a coalition of 31 public and private sector groups opposed to drastic public transport infrastructure cuts in the new Senate Transportation, Housing and Urban Development, and Related Agencies (THUD) Appropriations Bill.

Although the THUD Bill includes many critical infrastructure investments, it also suggests reducing total funding by USD457m compared to the Fiscal Year (FY) 2019 levels. In addition, the APTA-led coalition has expressed strong concern that the new proposals do not rule out a separate suggestion of a USD1.2bn reduction in public transportation funding in FY 2020. The trade body argues that such a cut would impact each state’s service provision as well as affecting private sector manufacturers and suppliers.

APTA says this represents a ‘12% across-the-board cut to every public transit agency in the nation’. The biggest reductions in funding would be seen in New York (USD195.6m); California (USD175m); Illinois (USD75.4m); New Jersey (USD74.2m); Texas (USD57.1m), Pennsylvania (USD54.3m); Florida (USD48.4m) and Massachusetts (USD48.2m).

It continues: ‘Each day across the country, public transit systems provide service to millions of Americans. The industry faces a more than USD90bn backlog of state-of-good-repair needs, and this 12% cut would impact millions of Americans in an adverse way, cutting them off from jobs, local businesses, and medical services.’

The coalition includes representation from construction, manufacturing, workers, transportation agencies, state and local government, businesses and environmental groups.