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Rail News: Federal Legislation & Regulation

Transit execs call on Congress to pass relief bill before recess


The American Public Transportation Association (APTA) today is hosting a nationwide "day of action and engagement" to encourage Congress to pass $32 billion in emergency funding to help agencies survive and recover from a dire financial crisis stemming from the COVID-19 pandemic.

As Congress debates a bipartisan, bicameral coronavirus relief aid package, the transit industry's #SavePublicTransit event is being held to raise awareness of the need for transit-rail and bus service as the nation faces an economic recession brought on by the pandemic, APTA officials said in a press release.

"Immediate action needs to be taken before Congress recesses for the holiday to address the public transportation industry's dire financial situation so that we can continue to serve essential employees every day and can help with the nation's economic recovery," said APTA President and Chief Executive Officer Paul Skoutelas. "The industry's very survival is at stake."

Transit agencies, contractors and suppliers are joining today's effort to shine the light on the industry's circumstances. For example, the Regional Transit District-Denver is facing a $140 million deficit in 2021 that would directly affect the agency's ability to provide transit-rail and bus service, said General Manager and CEO Debra Johnson in a press release.

"Additional federal assistance is needed to keep our buses and trains running for the thousands of customers who rely on us daily," Johnson said.