Looking Back at 2021—and Ahead to 2022

Voices for Public Transit notched some major policy and legislative victories last year in our continued fight to fund and grow public transportation in communities nationwide.

We cannot thank all our members enough for speaking out and raising awareness about the need to adequately fund public transit, both via short-term pandemic relief as well as long-term infrastructure investments.

The support and participation of Voices for Public Transit members helped us deliver a powerful message to lawmakers about the vital role public transportation plays in creating local jobs, powering local economies, and strengthening local communities from coast to coast.

Fighting for Public Transit, Together

If 2020 represented a year of challenges for public transit—and it most certainly did—then 2021 was a year that Voices for Public Transit turned those challenges into opportunities.

Throughout the year, Voices for Public Transit members came together to educate lawmakers about the critical role public transportation plays in local communities across the country. From strengthening local businesses to connecting people to critical employment and educational opportunities to powering stronger economies, we made sure public transportation was a key part of ongoing policy discussions in Washington.

Together, members of Voices for Public Transit made our voices heard in key communities and by key decision-makers whose support would be critical in the effort to secure both:

  1. Short-term funding via COVID-19 pandemic emergency relief
  2. Long-term funding via federal infrastructure investments

Throughout 2021, we relied on the hard work and support of our public transit advocates, champions, and local small-business owners—all of whom came together to send emails, write letters, and make phone calls to their elected officials in order to urge Congress to keep America running by investing in public transit.

Celebrating Our Impact in 2021

Between efforts to push Congress to include public transit in COVID-19 emergency funding as well as long-term infrastructure investments, Voices for Public Transit members:

  • Reached 486 members of Congress
  • Sent 17,775 emails to members of Congress
  • Placed 856 calls to Congressional offices

In the fight to secure long-term funding, Voices for Public Transit was also able to engage 300 small businesses across the country to deliver their message about the importance of infrastructure investment and public transportation.

The perspective of these small-business owners helped put a face on the local economic benefits of public transit, giving lawmakers even more reason to include robust, long-term funding in the now-passed Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act.

Navigating a Myriad of Challenges

Beginning in 2020, and throughout 2021 , public transit systems nationwide faced a number of challenges, including falling ridership, dwindling fare revenues, and declining tax contributions. At the height of the pandemic, public transportation ridership fell by nearly 80 percent due to a combination of social distancing measures, business closures, and work-from-home orders.

While these challenges persisted last year—and we’re not out of the woods quite yet—the Voices for Public Transit community was able to come together to successfully advocate for increased funding for public transportation. Ultimately, our success in securing vital funding last year just underscores the support public transit has in local communities nationwide.

Looking Ahead to 2022

In the coming year, Voices for Public Transit will continue to rely on our members and small-business advocates—while hopefully bringing in new voices—to help tell the full story about the positive impact of long-term infrastructure funding.

That includes working with local transit agencies to highlight the projects that long-term investments are making possible, highlighting the real-world stories of our public transit advocates to illustrate the direct benefits of these projects, and coordinating with local small businesses to highlight the larger economic value of these investments.

So stay tuned—and thanks again for all your hard work in 2021!

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