RTA Hails Senate Passage of Bipartisan Transportation Bill
March 14, 2012
The Regional Transportation Authority (RTA) praised the United States Senate today for passing S. 1813 – the “Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century (MAP-21) Act” – and providing vital support to mass transit at a time when more and more Americans depend on it to get to work.
The bill, which also authorizes federal aid for highways and highway safety, will continue vital transit funding for two fiscal years. It comes at a critical time, with the RTA and its service agencies about to begin the seasonal construction season. The resulting upgrades will lead to fewer slow zones and delays for riders.
“We applaud the U.S. Senate for keeping public transportation moving forward in this time of economic difficulty, increased ridership and soaring gas prices,” said RTA Executive Director Joseph G. Costello. “We especially thank Sen. Dick Durbin for his leadership and vote on this legislation and Sen. Mark Kirk for his steadfast support of the RTA.”
“The time has come for the House of Representatives to pass a bipartisan measure with the same elements as S. 1813 so that this vital investment in American jobs – and in our future – can continue uninterrupted,” Costello added.
Key provisions of S. 1813, as passed by the Senate, include the following:
The Senate vote comes on the heels of a new report showing a sharp increase in the use of public transportation. On Monday, the American Public Transportation Association released a reported revealing that Americans took 200 million more public transit rides in 2011 than in 2010. In all, American took 10.4 billion rides on public transportation in 2011, according to APTA.
“As the economy fights to recover, more and more Americans are using public transit systems to get to and from work,” noted Costello. “While this is neither the perfect bill nor the long-term solution we need, it’s a step in the right direction."