PITTSBURGH, PA (April 9, 2015) Mayor William Peduto joined a bipartisan and cross-sector chorus of voices today calling for increased funding for public transportation nationwide. More than 50 mayors and 300 organizations in 150 cities across the United States joined in the plea, called Stand Up For Transportation Day, that Congress renew federal transportation funding due to expire May 31.
Increased funding is necessary to address Pittsburgh’s crumbling transportation infrastructure, including roads, bridges and sidewalks, as well as its needs for better public transit and investments in new transportation options.
“The federal government needs to do more to invest in smart, multi-modal transportation needs that support economic growth, and the health and safety of residents nationwide. Investments like these support everyone who lives, works and visits Pittsburgh and other cities,” Mayor Peduto said.
In addition to mayors, a broad coalition of transportation providers, businesses, transportation system users, state partners and others are calling on Congress to pass a long-term transportation bill that increases investments in our transportation infrastructure.
On the national level, a new analysis from American Public Transportation Association shows that more than $227 billion in economic productivity is at risk over the next six years without long-term federal investment in transit.
A local coalition of transportation advocates including the Pittsburgh Community Reinvestment Group, Pittsburghers for Public Transit, Bike Pittsburgh, and the Pittsburgh Downtown Partnership are holding a Stand Up For Transportation Day event at 10 a.m. this morning in the Wood Street T Station Lobby at 601 Wood St., Downtown.
The nation faces a $160 billion backlog just to bring public transit and road systems into a state of good repair. The lack of a long-term federal funding bill creates local funding uncertainty, which jeopardizes transportation project planning and discourages private sector investment. With a lack of a commitment on the federal level, that stifles local business investment and job creation in our city and nationwide.
A long-term, fully funded transportation bill must include robust investment for all modes of transportation. Transit ridership surged to 10.8 billion trips last year, Amtrak ridership continues to hit record highs, bicycle commuting has increased 60 percent since 2005, and national freight tonnage is projected to increase by 25 percent in the next decade.
Federal investment has not kept pace with this demand, resulting in an outdated, overburdened surface transportation system that is ill-equipped to handle current, let alone future, needs. Across the United States public transit maintenance needs exceed $77 billion, and the nation’s bridge backlog alone is an estimated $121 billion. The HTF, which funds most highway and transit spending, is almost depleted and the federal government is struggling to maintain the status quo, much less make new investments.
To learn more about Stand Up for Transportation Day please visit www.standup4trasnportation.org or follow the Day of Action on Twitter at #SU4T.
Thursday, April 9, 2015
City of Pittsburgh
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