5 Public Transit Takeaways from United for Infrastructure Week

You could feel the excitement—even on Zoom—during United for Infrastructure Week 2021. For years, there has been talk in Washington about passing major infrastructure legislation, but little has happened. This year feels different.

President Biden recently proposed the American Jobs Plan, which would invest more than $2 trillion to rebuild and modernize our nation’s infrastructure, create jobs, and make America more competitive. Republican members of Congress have also voiced support for a big infrastructure bill and have introduced their own framework for a proposal. Despite differences among lawmakers, we hope to finally see major infrastructure legislation pass this year. Funding for public transportation should be an integral part of any proposed infrastructure legislation.

5 Key Points from United for Infrastructure Week 2021

Here are five key points that we heard during United for Infrastructure Week. Some of these points were raised in multiple discussions because they are so critical to the discussion:

  1. We need long-term, reliable funding—Other countries are making transformational investments in infrastructure. Our federal government needs to make a similar commitment to enable America to compete globally in the 21st-century.
  2. Infrastructure investment supports local jobs—New infrastructure projects, including public transportation initiatives, will support local jobs all across the country. “Buy American” policies will also fuel U.S. manufacturing and innovation.
  3. Public transportation investments will advance equity—Mobility is essential to participate and prosper in America. New investments in public transportation will help more people reach jobs and new opportunities, including an initiative that will increase access to community college programs.
  4. Investing in green public transportation will help us meet environmental challenges—We will reduce our nation’s carbon footprint by investing in green, sustainable public transportation.
  5. “Your voices are very strong”—Senator Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV) made this point as an appeal to advocates to stay engaged to help move infrastructure legislation forward. We couldn’t agree more—and we’ll soon be calling on Voices for Public Transit members to take action.

Momentum and Urgency

Here’s another overarching takeaway from United for Infrastructure Week: There is momentum and urgency. Our nation is now emerging from a historic crisis. Investing in infrastructure will help our economy and communities recover from the pandemic.

Congress has an opportunity to seize the moment and advance a vision that strengthens our nation and helps us address many challenges, including the need for environmental resiliency. The infrastructure debate now taking place could shape our nation for decades to come. In the coming weeks, we’ll be calling on our Voices for Public Transit advocates to urge Congress to put our nation on the path to a better future by investing in public transportation.

Categories: Infrastructure