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Public transportation showed its strength at the height of the COVID-19 crisis—and it will play a fundamental role in our nation’s recovery. Public transit systems have continued to operate as essential services, enabling pandemic-critical healthcare, public safety, utility, pharmacy, and grocery workers to reach their jobs and help our communities respond to the COVID-19 pandemic. A thank you goes out to all of these workers, including tens of thousands of public transportation employees. You are all heroes!

Long-Term Bill Invests in Public Transportation for Our Nation’s Recovery

Public transportation will play a central role in our nation’s social and economic recovery. The U.S. House of Representatives is considering legislation—the Investing in a New Vision for the Environment and Surface Transportation (INVEST) in America Act—that will enable public transportation to fulfill this role.

The INVEST in America Act is a five-year transportation bill that includes robust funding to fix and upgrade public transit systems, improve safety for all forms of travel, and implement public transportation projects driven by local leaders. The bill also includes critical funding to enable America’s public transit systems to continue safe operations and recover from the COVID-19 pandemic.

Public transportation, powered by the long-term investment of the INVEST in America Act, will provide:

  • Continued mobility for critical workers—A majority of public transit riders work in jobs our nation recognizes are essential to the functioning of our society. The INVEST in America Act will ensure essential workers can continue to reach their jobs now and in the future. These workers support our health and provide the foundation for our economic recovery by keeping our transportation, communications, and power systems operational.
  • Affordable transportation—Tens of millions of Americans have lost their jobs or experienced reductions in their pay, benefits, and savings. Public transportation provides affordable transportation, which will be critical for job seekers and households struggling to make ends meet. The INVEST in America Act will enable public transit to expand to more communities and provide more Americans the opportunity to find jobs and get to work. More households can save nearly $10,000 annually by using public transportation and living with one less car.
  • Job support and creation—The INVEST in America Act will add jobs to get our economy back on track. Every $1 billion invested in public transportation supports and creates about 50,000 jobs—mostly in the private sector. Public transportation has a vast nationwide supply chain that includes vehicle, parts, and equipment manufacturers and suppliers; service providers and consultants, such as planners and engineers; and technology companies. This supply chain supports jobs in towns and regions we don’t normally associate with public transit. Bus manufacturer ElDorado, for example, is a major employer in Salina, Kansas, with a population of about 47,000. The largest city—Wichita—is more than 80 miles away.

Public transit directly employs more than 435,000 people (pre-pandemic)—jobs that support families in both large cities and small communities. Some public transit employees have been furloughed, but federal emergency funding has enabled transit systems to postpone or reduce layoffs and keep trains and buses running safely.

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