Challenges for Transit Federal Funding

Thursday, April 04, 2013

 It's easy to wonder sometimes how the things that get funding from Capitol Hill end up there. Considering how some issues are handled, it may seem from the outside that important topics are entirely overlooked. Transit issues can often seem ignored, or simply left to the state governments to sort out. It seems obvious that Federal support is needed to make a change, so why doesn't Transit funding get the attention it deserves?

According to former New York City councilman Sal Albanese, this is because transit doesn't have lobbyists in Washington, DC. Albanese advocates for mayors and others in leadership positions to make transit a priority and to speak out in favor of changes. Like many of us, Albanese would like to see transit systems improved as a means to help improve air quality in the US, as well as to see US government funds utilized more efficiently. As reported by MSNBC, "The federal government spends vastly more to fund highway construction and repair than it does to build or upgrade mass transit systems, and the public health impact of that policy choice is rather clear: More cars on the street means more carbon emitted into the air and rising asthma rates." Further, failure to invest in transit perpetuates traffic congestion and car-dependent lifestyle that most Americans deal with every day. Investing in transit would break the cycle and grant us all cleaner air, more choice, and even a more affordable means to travel.

Your voice is important in these matters. We can all get behind our local politicians, state representatives, and even our congressman to rally for change and improvement. Supporting Mass Transit is worth the fight.