Join the Movement

Members of Voices for Public Transit know public transportation benefits everyone. We’re keeping it moving.

Join the Movement

Members of Voices for Public Transit know public transportation benefits everyone. We’re keeping it moving.

Voices For Transit

We All Benefit

Whether you ride or not, public transportation benefits all of us. It reduces pollution, eases traffic congestion, and helps our communities thrive. In cities, suburbs, and rural America, public transit provides vital connections to jobs, education, medical care, and our larger communities. Help us keep America moving.

  • VPT Votes 2016: Supporting Public Transportation

    The 2016 elections are officially under way—so now is the time to educate yourself about candidates and get ready to vote. Voting is the most immediate way to participate in the political process.

    As a public transportation supporter, it’s critical to cast your vote in every race.

    The federal government is the single-largest funder of American public transportation, but state, county, and city officials make decisions about local transportation projects and priorities. And federal funding must usually be matched to some degree with state and local funding. Primary and general elections may also include local ballot initiatives that will determine whether funding is available for public transit projects in your area.

    What You Need to Know

    The 2016 nationwide general election takes place on November 8. In between now and then, primaries and caucuses occur throughout the first six months of the year that determine who will be on the final ballot in November.

    Get organized, get ready, and participate by following these steps:

    • Register to Vote or Update Your Registration — You can’t vote unless you’re registered. To participate in “closed” primaries or caucuses, which are limited to registered Republicans and Democrats, you must also designate your political party when you register. The deadlines for voter registration vary from state to state, so you should register ASAP if you haven’t already. You can find voter registration info at the USA.gov Voter Registration portal.

    • Find the Date of Your State’s Primary or Caucus — A complete list of the dates of 2016 primaries and caucuses can be found at the Election Central 2016 website.

    • Request an Absentee Ballot, If Needed — If you’ll be out of town during your state’s primary or caucus, or have trouble traveling to polling or caucus locations, request an absentee ballot.

    • Do Your Research — Visit candidates’ websites, search online news coverage, and attend campaign events such as town halls and house parties to learn where candidates stand on infrastructure investment and public transportation. Ask campaign representatives or local candidates themselves for their positions on public transportation.

    • Get Out and Vote or Caucus — In primaries, you simply vote. Caucuses are more like community meetings, where you’ll have a chance to listen, speak up, and even, in some states, introduce a resolution. A caucus can be a good opportunity to learn more about where candidates stand on public transportation and to share your views.

    No Matter the Outcome, Your Vote Counts

    There is a common misperception that a single vote doesn’t count. In fact, many local and state elections have been won by a single vote. Your vote can also highlight priorities to elected leaders, the media, and the general public. For instance, you might support a candidate for city council who strongly supports improving public transportation. Even if your candidate loses—perhaps for an unrelated reason—your vote helps show support for public transportation.

  • Congress has passed legislation. Now what?

    While winning passage of a long-term transportation bill was a key goal, our bigger goal it to truly transform America’s transportation network and bring more and better public transportation options to communities of all sizes.

    In 2016, Voices for Public Transit will be working to make sure our states and local communities are able to maximize the investment Congress has promised for public transportation. We have to be vocal advocates in our states, cities, and communities—and we must educate others about what public transportation can mean for our local economies and neighborhoods.

    Here’s some of what you can expect in 2016.

    Voices for Public Transit Activities

    • Thank Congress—We’re kicking off 2016 by celebrating passage of a fully funded long-term transportation bill, the FAST Act. As part of this celebration, we’re encouraging our members to thank Congress—send a quick message today if you haven’t already.

    • Election 2016—We’ll be listening to candidates and watching federal, state, and local elections through the lens of public transportation. We’ll be encouraging public transit advocates to help us make public transportation an important election issue. Public transit impacts our economy, our environment, and our quality of life. It should be on the radar of candidates for office at all levels of government.

    • Community Building—We’ll be asking every Voices for Public Transit member to help us build our community. We want to add more members and build awareness about our effort to improve and expand American public transportation. The more Voices for Public Transit we have raising awareness, the more effective we will be.

    Important Things You Can Do in 2016

    • Listen and Engage Locally—Every community and state is different, but local and state transportation planners across the country will be responding to the opportunities provided by the FAST Act. Many will be applying for federal funding, seeking local funds, and working to determine the best transportation investments. Voices for Transit advocates should stay informed—and let us know if there’s a key public transit initiative developing in your area.

    • Educate Others—Numbers make for stronger advocacy. Voices for Public Transit members should keep talking about the value of public transportation and the need for local and state planners to move forward with public transit projects. Make public transportation part of your conversations and look for opportunities to speak at neighborhood association meetings, town halls, and other events. Check out our “Grow the Movement” resources to learn more.

    • Write Letters to Editors—Keep your local community aware of what’s happening and what’s at stake when it comes to public transit by sending letters to the editor of your local papers.

    Of course, we’ll also be watching how public transit issues develop across the nation, and we’ll let you know when there are opportunities for you to join forces with other members of Voices for Public Transit to support public transportation. Let us know what’s happening in your area by sending us a message on Twitter or posting to the Public Transportation Facebook page.

  • Top 10 Reasons to Thank Congress

    We’re kicking off 2016 by celebrating passage of the Fixing America’s Surface Transportation Act or “FAST Act.” For the first time in 10 years, Congress passed a long-term transportation bill. This critical legislation will enable investment in roads, bridges, rail, and—YES!—public transportation.

    As part of our celebration, we want to send a collective THANK YOU to Congress. They got the job done! Here are our top 10 reasons—in no particular order—why Congress deserves our recognition:

    1. Five Years! — The FAST Act provides five fully funded years of investment in America’s transportation infrastructure.
    2. 18 Percent Increase — The FAST Act increases our nation’s investment in public transportation by 18 percent.
    3. No More Short-Term Bills — Inconsistent, short-term funding—a total of 36 bills over six years—set back American public transportation. Now we’re moving in the right direction.
    4. Bipartisan Cooperation — There’s a lot of division in Congress, but legislators set aside differences to reach consensus on long-term transportation funding.
    5. Keep Public Transportation on Congress’ Radar — We need effective implementation and oversight of our national investment in public transportation, so Congress still has a role to play.
    6. Encourage Members of Congress to Be Ongoing Champions of Public Transit — Support for public transportation needs to be sustained and expanded.
    7. Strengthen Your Ties to Washington — Your thanks will help you build and strengthen your relationship with your elected officials and their staff.
    8. Demonstrate Your Long-Term Support for Public Transit — Show Congress and their staff that you’re a dedicated public transit advocate who will remain active and engaged in discussions about the future of American transportation.
    9. Increase Your Clout — Congressional offices take special notice when constituents offer their thanks. Elected officials and staff are more likely to listen closely to your views in the future.
    10. It’s the Right Thing to Do — Members of Congress heard us and responded. Let’s give them the thanks they deserve.

    Reason enough? We hope you’ll take a few minutes to email Congress your thanks now.

  • Happy Holidays!

  • We Did It! Congress Passes Fully Funded, Five-Year Transportation Bill

    December 4 was a milestone for American public transit—and our nation’s entire transportation system.

    For the first time in nearly a decade, Congress passed a long-term transportation bill—the Fixing America’s Surface Transportation Act or “FAST Act.” President Obama signed the bill into law just hours before current authorization of transportation programs expired.

    Voices for Public Transit advocates helped break the impasse in Washington. We made it clear that the status quo was unacceptable. The steady escalation of communications from the Voices for Public Transit community over several months made fixing public transportation an issue that Congress could no longer ignore.

    • Almost 43,000 emails sent

    • More than 4,500 personal letters delivered

    • Nearly 3,000 phone calls placed

    • More than 6,500 letters to the editor submitted

    After 36 short-term fixes over the past six years, the FAST Act provides a five-year, $305 billion investment in our nation’s transportation infrastructure, including an 18 percent increase in funding for public transportation. This is what Voices for Public Transit has been fighting for over the past two years—and our victory is in large part due to your tireless efforts.

    What’s Next?

    First, Voices for Public Transit advocates should celebrate. You worked hard, overcame obstacles, and won a big victory. We’ll be holding the official celebration in January, when Congress comes back to work after the holidays. But that doesn’t mean you can’t celebrate now as well.

    This victory is a critical milestone, but it is just the first step on the journey to transforming public transportation in America. Our community will also need to ensure that the funding allocated by the FAST Act is used in the best way possible, and that means advocating for state and local support of public transportation projects.

    Voices for Public Transit will also be active in the 2016 elections. We’ll be listening to hear where candidates stand on improving American public transportation, and we’ll help our community bring public transportation initiatives to success at the ballot box.

    Wishing You a Happy Holiday Season—and a Nice Break from Advocating

    We have more to do, but we know we’ve asked a lot of you over the past few months. So, for now, we hope you’ll sit back, relax, and have a wonderful holiday season. As always, thank you to all of our supporters who have helped us reach this critical milestone. Travel safely wherever the holidays may take you, and use public transit when you can!

  • Advocate spotlight

    Laura W.

    Laura is retired and uses DART to get downtown when she has an errand or event in the area.

    Read More

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