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.

The Latest

  • Congress Approves Emergency COVID-19 Funding for Public Transit


     

    Lawmakers passed the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act—including $25 billion in emergency funding for public transportation—late Friday afternoon, March 27. President Trump signed the bill into law just a few hours later.

    This urgently needed legislation—passed with a strong bipartisan vote—provides broad economic relief to Americans and supports critical industries, including public transit.

    The infusion of funding will help keep public transit systems across the nation operational during this challenging time. Public transportation will remain available so healthcare providers, first responders, grocery and pharmacy employees, and other essential personnel can reach work. Public transportation will also remain a critical lifeline as medical transportation to kidney dialysis, cancer treatments and other critical care.

    The emergency funding will also help public transportation systems cover increased costs to protect the health and safety of riders and employees.

    This is not a time to claim victory, but all of Congress deserves our thanks. The dire circumstances of the COVID-19 pandemic placed historic pressure on America’s public transportation system. Lawmakers responded by setting aside their differences and uniting to pass legislation that demonstrates the fundamental importance of public transportation to our nation’s economy, health, and mobility.

    Please join us in thanking Congress on social media. We suggest this message: "Thank you #USCongress and #WhiteHouse for passing the CARES Act with emergency #COVID19 funding for #publictransportation. #Publictransit is keeping essential workers connected to their jobs and will support long-term economic recovery. #Voices4Transit".

    To thank your legislators on Facebook, please feel free to copy and paste the suggested message above into the post that opens when you click on the link, or type in your own message.

    To thank your legislators on Twitter, simply click on the Twitter link and the suggested copy will be pre-populated for you. You can edit the message before you post it, if desired.

  • Make Just One More 2020 Public Transit Resolution Share Your Hopes for Public Transit Investment



    Our major advocacy goal—winning increased public investment in public transportation—will be accomplished through small, steady steps that together lead to big wins like the 2015 FAST Act.

    These steps are absolutely critical—even if by themselves they may not look like much!

    As your last Voices for Public Transit resolution for 2020, please commit to taking the following two steps to help us build wide and deep support for increased funding for public transit.

    Step 1: Imagine How Public Transportation Improvements Will Help You and Your Community

    Our community is united in our support for public transportation, but we have a range of ideas about how it can be improved—and how those improvements will help our communities.

    Take a moment to imagine ways greater investment in public transportation can help your community and our nation get where it needs to go. Would you like to see public transportation…?

    • Help the economy by expanding access to jobs, training, and education.
    • Improve safety and lower traffic congestion for everyone—including people who don’t use public transportation.
    • Fight air, water, and noise pollution with quieter vehicles that use renewable energy.
    • Renew neighborhoods and downtowns by bringing people together.

    The ideas listed above represent just a few examples of how public transportation can improve daily lives and local communities for everyone—and what those changes look like for your community may be different than what they look like for other communities.  Would you like to see rail or bus service reaching more neighborhoods?  Bus Rapid Transit to reduce travel times?  More electric vehicles?  What other hopes do you have? Brainstorm and write down your ideas.

    Step 2: Share Your Hopes and Start Conversations

    Now unleash the power of your hopes for public transportation by sharing them wide and far. First, please share how you think increased public transit investment could benefit your community on Facebook and Twitter—and be sure to tag Voices for Public Transit by adding #Voices4Transit to every post. You can also share your ideas with us by email at info@voicesforpublictransit.org.

    Encourage your networks to share their hopes for improved public transportation as well. Start conversations with friends, family, neighbors, and co-workers about the importance of public transportation.

    Big advances in Congress and state legislatures begin with conversations among the voters in local communities. You can help drive those conversations by resolving to share your hopes for increased public transportation investment and what it could mean for everyone in your area.

  • 2020 Resolutions to Support Public Transit


    2020 Resolutions to Support Public Transit


    Resolve to Recruit Five Friends to Participate in Voices for Public Transit

    We’re kicking off 2020 by encouraging public transit supporters to make resolutions that will expand support for public transportation funding in our nation’s capital and in our local communities—and everywhere in between.


    At the start of this new decade, it is clearer than ever that communities around the country need expanded transportation options, including public transit. Our growing populations (and associated traffic), our environment, public health, and our economy all benefit when we invest in public transit.

    This year and beyond, we must make sure Congress, state leaders, and local officials hear us speaking out for public transit. The level of noise in Washington, DC, and our state capitals may be more cacophonous than ever, but together we can keep public transit a bipartisan priority.

    That’s why we encourage you to commit to our next Resolution:


    Recruit five friends to participate in Voices for Public Transit

    Voices for Public Transit has advocates in every state, and we want to keep building our community so lawmakers on both sides of the aisle hear robust and diverse support for public transit—all year long.


    Please reach out to five friends—or family members, co-workers, or neighbors—and encourage them to sign up for Voices for Public Transit and get involved. Share your own story about why you support public transit—in email or in person—and highlight your favorite public transportation facts. You can also get others on board by sharing one or both of the following graphics on social media:

    Take the extra step: Please do what you can and what you’re comfortable with, but if possible go the extra mile. Talk about public transit over coffee with a friend or let a co-worker use your phone to sign up right now. Follow up with friends to answer their questions and learn whether they signed up.

    If someone declines, offer your thanks and just move to the next person. Keep going until you get five or more sign-ups.


    Remember too, public transit supporters don’t have to be public transit riders. Public transportation benefits every person and whole communities, not just people who use bus or rail systems regularly.

    In our next blog, we’ll be asking you to make one more Resolution for 2020. Now please get out there and sign up some new members!

    PS: You can read about our first two Resolutions at this link and this link
    .

  • Your Next 2020 Transit Advocacy Resolution: Watch the State of the Union Address



    Your Next 2020 Transit Advocacy Resolution:

    Watch the State of the Union Address

    In the coming weeks, we’re highlighting 2020 resolutions you can make to support increased investment in public transportation.

    We started by encouraging you to support public transit when you participate in this year’s primaries and caucuses. When we say “participate,” we mean more than vote. We also encourage you to lead the conversation.

    It’s a good idea to link public transit to other issues people—including our nation’s leaders—are talking about. That’s why the next 2020 resolution for our community involves a big annual milestone in Washington, DC:

    Watch the State of the Union—Both Parts

    The President’s State of the Union (SOTU) address and the accompanying Democratic response will take place on Tuesday, February 4. Both addresses will be made with an eye toward the November elections, and you can expect to hear about many hot-button issues. We hope to hear renewed commitments to support American transportation and infrastructure, but public transit connects to many other issues high in the public consciousness right now.

    Transit Links to Other Issues

    Jobs and the economy.We’ll almost certainly hear about the need to maintain a healthy economy and continue to create jobs. Public transit advocates have a great story to tell on this point. Every $1 billion invested in public transportation supports more than 50,000 jobs.

    Health care. We may hear differing views about how to improve health care in America. Public transportation plays a critical role in health care for many Americans. Public transit helps people access health services and better manage their health day to day, minimizing the need for more costly hospitalization, which keeps health care costs lower for everyone. Public transit also promotes walking and bike-riding as part of a multi-modal transportation system, which help keep people healthier longer. Because public transit has a positive impact on public health, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has recommended increased funding for public transportation.

    Environment. Public transit helps communities reduce both pollution and energy consumption.  As our nation debates solutions to keep our air and water clean now and in the decades ahead, public transit will be an essential way of keeping America mobile while also keeping our environment healthy.

    Public transit helps millions of Americans make connections every day—to work, to school, to shopping, to health care, and to one another. Similarly, public transit and the mobility it provides connect to many of the key issues facing our nation. Please listen to the SOTU, see where you think public transit makes connections, and then share your ideas with friends, family, co-workers, and others in your community and online networks.

    Let’s keep talking about public transit all year long—and continue to urge Congress to increase our nation’s investment in public transportation.

  • Make Your 2020 Public Transit Advocacy Resolutions



    Make Your 2020 Public Transit Advocacy Resolutions

    Resolve to Participate in Your Primaries or Caucuses

    The new decade is here! Our nation and communities face many challenges—and public transportation must be part of the solution.

    Expanding public transit can help grow our economy, create jobs, fight air pollution, and strengthen our communities. But to win increased funding for public transportation, we must raise our voices, increase our advocacy clout, and make our wishes and aspirations clear.

    To kick off 2020, we’re encouraging public transit supporters everywhere to make key advocacy resolutions. Here is the first Resolution:

    Commit to supporting public transit in your primaries or caucuses—in every way possible

    The start of the 2020 caucuses and primaries is just weeks away, beginning in Iowa on February 3 and New Hampshire on February 11. Wherever you live, register to vote if you haven’t already and then participate! Voting is the fundamental way to engage in the political process and effect policy change.

    Here’s how you can make a difference:

    First: Learn about candidates—for offices at all levels of governments—and where they stand on public transportation. Visit candidate websites, read news coverage, and even email campaigns to ask.

    Last year, we conducted a flash poll of Voices for Public Transit members, and 68% said that increasing funding for public transit is “as important” as most other issues or “the top of my list” in the upcoming elections. You can support your priorities by learning candidates’ positions and voting accordingly.

    But wait, there’s more: During the primary season, candidates and their campaigns are listening closely to voters. If candidates hear enough passionate voices advocating for public transportation, it may impact their positions on the campaign trail and if they win office. There are many actions you can take during primary season to help make public transit an election priority, including:

    • Attend a campaign event and ask a question about public transportation—Your community may host a candidate forum, or you may have the opportunity to attend a “house party” for a candidate. Your candidates may even host online events like a Twitter town hall or a Facebook Live, where you can ask questions online in real time.These types of events are a great way to connect with candidates, share your views, gather insights about your candidates’ positions—and elevate public transportation as an issue among your neighbors and friends.

    • Write a letter to the editor—Local newspapers will be covering local races, and editors want to hear from readers. Write a letter to the editor highlighting a local public transportation issue and urging candidates to support increased funding for public transit. Look at your paper’s website for guidance on how to submit a letter.

    • Share your views and ask questions on social media—Leading up to primaries and caucuses, use social media to highlight public transportation as your key issue. You can even tag a candidate, voice your support, or ask a question.


    No matter how and where you engage, keep to the high road by being polite and respectful—and remember, public transportation shouldn’t be a partisan issue: it’s something Republicans, Democrats, and Independents can agree on because it benefits all of us. Show your passion for public transportation but leave the partisan shouting to others.

    We’ll be back soon with the next Resolution. Stay tuned—and in the meantime, get out and get active in support of public transportation.

  • 5 Ways to Celebrate Public Transit


     

    This holiday season, we encourage you to make public transportation part of your celebration!

    All year long, public transit helps millions of Americans get where they want to go. To work and school. To gatherings of family and friends. To doctor’s appointments, shopping, sports events, and more.

    Public transit helps our communities and nation as well. It supports job creation, economic growth, environmental protection, and so much more. So, let’s make transit part of our celebration. Here are five ideas to get started:

    1. Celebrate Safety—Let others know that traveling by public transportation is 10x safer per mile than traveling by automobile. Stay safe yourself by riding transit to holiday parties.

    2. Gift Fare Cards—Prepaid fare cards—available on many transit systems around the country—make it easy to ride. Celebrate transit by including fare cards as stocking stuffers or donating fare cards to local charitable organizations.

    3. Reach Out with Transit—Public transit makes our communities stronger by bringing people and communities together. This holiday season, invite a friend or family member who lives alone to take transit with you to a musical performance, holiday gathering, or other event.

    4. Save Energy—In the winter months, you may be using more energy to heat your home. But you can save energy and money—and help the environment—by riding transit. It’s another good reason to celebrate public transportation.

    5. Shop Locally via Transit—Public transit gives a boost to local businesses by creating connections with customers and employees. Celebrate transit’s economic impact in your community by riding to a local shopping district to hunt for perfect gifts for your family and friends.

    All month long, we’ll be highlighting ways to celebrate public transit on social media. If you’re not part of the conversation already, please follow us on Twitter and Facebook.

    Share Your Ideas for Celebrating Transit

    How are you celebrating transit? Let our community know what you’re doing to make public transportation part of your holiday celebration by posting on the Voices for Public Transit website or Facebook page. You can also tag us on Twitter and hit the hashtag #Voices4Transit.

  • A Thanksgiving “Thank You” for Public Transit



    On Thanksgiving, Americans around the country give thanks—for their health and happiness, for their families and loved ones, for their communities and nation. Today, Voices for Public Transit wants to offer two very big Thank You’s.

    We want to first thank every member of our nationwide community of public transit advocates. Your committed voices are helping to protect and strengthen American public transportation—for today and the future.

    And we want to give a giant shout-out of thanks to the people who plan, build, operate, and maintain our public transportation systems. We talk a lot about the infrastructure of public transit, but without the people none of us would get very far.




    Share Your Thanks

    Thousands of transit employees are working this holiday season so we can travel safely and connect with family and friends. Whenever you have a chance, please say “Thank You” to the people who get us where we need to go all year round.

    You can also voice your thanks by sharing our “Thank You” GIF (pictured above) on Twitter and Facebook.

     Have a safe and joyful Thanksgiving!

     

  • Flash Poll Results: We’re Committed to Solving Problems with Transit



    Last month for Halloween, we polled Voices for Public Transit advocates to ask, “What’s the scariest problem transit can help address in your area?” We also asked you to rank the importance of increased funding for public transportation, relative to other issues. Here are the results…





    We’re Committed to Expanding the Benefits of Public Transportation


    When it comes to mobility, there’s no question Americans face some big challenges—traffic congestion, costs of car ownership, access, and safety, among others. But we also have a lot to be thankful for. Public transit helps millions of Americans get where they need to go every day, even if they don’t ride public transit personally.

    Our poll also shows an overwhelming commitment to winning increased funding for public transportation. Next year, Voices for Public Transit will call on this commitment to win new transit funding when the current long-term transportation bill—the FAST Act—expires. We’ll also be watching and mobilizing on transit-related ballot initiatives around the country.

    By this time next year, we hope to be thankful for legislation that marks a new era for American public transit.

    Tell Us Why You’re Thankful for Public Transportation

    In the spirit of the holiday season, we want to hear why you’re thankful for public transportation. How do public transportation and transit employees make a difference in your life? Share your answers on the Voices for Public Transit website, Facebook page, or Twitter feed.

  • THANK YOU! Advocacy Helps Protect Transit Funding



    We have great news! On October 31, the U.S. Senate passed the Jones-McSally Amendment to prevent a $1.2 billion cut to fiscal year 2020 funding for public transportation.

    Thanks to your efforts to contact your Senators, this legislation passed by an overwhelming bipartisan vote of 82-11.

    Advocacy Helps Win the Day

    If the Senate had rejected the Jones-McSally Amendment, every transit system throughout the nation would have faced a 12 percent across-the-board cut. This cut would have hurt millions of Americans by reducing travel options that connect people to work, school, medical care, and other services affordably and reliably.

    Voices for Public Transit advocates from around the country sprang into action when the threat of funding cuts arose. A supermajority of Senators across the political spectrum listened and responded by voting to support transit funding.

    We want to shout out a big “THANK YOU!” to every Voices for Public Transit advocate who reached out to their Senators on this critical issue.

    Looking Ahead

    The FAST Act expires next year. We need to start urging Congress now to make sure we don’t slide back into old, bad habits of kicking the can down the road a few months at a time. We should never again have to face years of short-term funding. That approach limits our communities’ and regions’ ability to keep our existing transportation infrastructure working efficiently, let alone plan, build, and expand into more flexible, modern transit networks that can better meet today’s transportation needs.

    To help achieve a new long-term transportation bill in 2020, advocacy will be as important as ever—it may even be more important than it was in 2015, given our current political gridlock.

    Next year, we’ll be calling on the Voices for Public Transit community to tell Congress more investment in public transit is what we need to get America where we want to go.
  • The Community Spirit of Public Transit



    Throughout October, we’ve been imagining how scary our world would be without public transit. We’ve imagined a future with more polluted air and more clogged roads.

    Today, we envision something even more frightening—the decay of community spirit itself.

    Riding Together

    When we stand up to support investment in public transportation, we have facts and figures on our side. We know that $1 invested in transit pays off with $4 in economic returns. We know that transit saves our nation 4.2 billion gallons of gasoline per year. We know traveling by public transportation is 10 times safer per mile than traveling by automobile.

    But the value of transit goes even further. When we ride together, we build community.

    Just about every regular transit rider has seen acts of kindness on buses and rail. The young skateboarder who gives up his seat for an older woman and her shopping cart. The businessman who helps a mother pick up her baby’s dropped bottle. The multi-modal cyclist who helps a disabled vet carry his walker onto the bus.

    Moments like these happen every day on transit. And they remind us that we’re all in this life—and this nation—together, even if we never know each other’s names. There are already so many things that tear us apart. It would be chilling to see our community spirit evaporate even further without public transportation to help bring us into contact with people we might not otherwise get the chance to encounter.

    Caring for the Community

    Even if we don’t ride personally, transit is also one of the ways we take care of each other.

    Transit provides mobility to people who otherwise might not be able to get around. Millions of young people, older Americans, people with disabilities, and those who don’t have access to a car find a lifeline in public transportation.

    Public transportation supports public health and greater quality of life. Work and school are within reach for many because of public transportation. And access to transportation—including public transit—is a leading factor in helping Americans access opportunity and improve their standard of living, reducing the strain on public safety net programs.

    Congress has the power to support communities in every state by increasing its support of public transportation. In this downright frightening era of growing division and income inequality in America, now is the time for Congress to renew its commitment to public transportation for communities of all sizes.

    Do You Have an Uplifting Transit Story?

    This month, we’ve already asked you for scary stories about what a world without transit could mean. Now we want to hear your best, most uplifting stories about how transit helps people in your community. Share your experience on the Voices for Public Transit website, Facebook page, or Twitter feed.


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