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

  • Late-Shift Workers Depend on Public Transit



    Every night, millions of Americans work the late shift.

    Nurses, doctors, and staff are on hand at hospitals through all hours. Cooks and waiters serve up warm meals at 24-hour restaurants. Road workers lay new pavement when the streets are quiet. 911 call center staff take emergency calls and mobilize responders. Hotel concierges greet guests arriving late after delayed flights. Maintenance staff make sure office buildings are ready for the next day.

    Countless others are on the job when most Americans are in bed. Late-Shift workers keep our local economies running in ways most of us don’t even think about until we need them.

    Every one of these late-night employees needs to get to work—and every operation they support needs to be sure they can get to work reliably. Job choices are much more limited for people who don’t have cars and can’t use public transit. And employers are more likely to deal with unexpected absences and higher turnover.

    It’s a problem Congress can do something about.

    Expanding Public Transit Means Expanding Job Opportunities—and Local Economies

    Industries with large shares of late-shift and weekend workers are expecting high job growth. That includes health care, construction, food service, education, and finance, just to name a few. Public transit can help make those jobs accessible to more people.

    The American Public Transportation Association (APTA) recently released a new study on this issue, “Supporting Late-Shift Workers: Their Transportation Needs and the Economy.” The study offers several solutions, but one point stands out: We need to increase public investment in local transit systems. Improved funding will help local systems expand service and provide more options for people who need access to public transit during late-night and weekend hours.

    Only Congress can provide increased federal funding.

    Do You Work a Late Shift or Know Someone Who Does?

    Please share how access to reliable transportation makes a difference for you on the Voices for Public Transit website, Facebook page, or Twitter feed.
  • Public Transit and Education Transform Communities



    Each one of the more than 20 million Americans in college and trade programs this fall are changing their lives through new knowledge, skills, and experiences. Changed lives means transformed communities. Public transit is a big part of making that transformation possible.

    Students from Dallas to Champaign or Knoxville to Seattle and thousands of other communities across the country enjoy affordable, safe, and reliable access to colleges and professional schools because public transit gets them there. Even better, many local public transit systems offer free or reduced fares to college and trade school students.

    Investing in public transit means investing in educational and career opportunities for millions of Americans.  It means helping veterans get back into the workforce when they finish their service; making it possible for single parents to increase their earning potential while juggling kids and multiple jobs; cutting down on the need for commuter students to face traffic and pay for car maintenance, insurance, and parking every day; and bringing more qualified workers into job fields like nursing and high-tech that are struggling to fill positions.

    Thousands of times a day public transit is taking people to places where their lives will be changed and where they will change lives—and entire communities—for the better. That’s a pretty powerful reason why public transportation benefits all of us, even if we don’t ride ourselves.

    Get Social

    Voices for Public Transit is a community of people passionate about bringing public transit to more communities and improving transportation for all Americans. We know public transit is as important to our future as education itself. Help us tell that story. Share your experience or what you see happening in your community on the Voices for Public Transit website, Facebook page or Twitter feed.
  • Think Outside the Box When It Comes to Mobility and Your Labor Day Weekend



    Voices for Public Transit is taking a virtual Tourism Transit Trek this Labor Day to highlight great ways to use public transportation as you travel the nation.

    Many travelers limit themselves to one type of mobility option when they travel! However, many cities provide multiple modes of transportation that can enhance anyone’s Labor Day as they travel to their ultimate destination.

    Get on a Boat

    Many regions offer ferry services that enable you to travel from one community to another. You can also ride a ferry just to see sights from the water. Great examples include:
    • The Staten Island Ferry—This 25-minute (one-way) ride offers great views of the Statue of Liberty and downtown skyscrapers.
    • Seattle-Bainbridge Ferry—Several ferries can be found in the Seattle area. Right from the heart of the city, you can catch a 30-minute ferry to Bainbridge for a great day trip. Amazing views abound.
    • Water Taxis—Many cities along waterways offer water taxis. Boston, Baltimore, Washington D.C., and Miami all offer water taxi services for local transportation and sightseeing.
    If you’ll be visiting a city near the water—rivers, bays, and lakes—explore online to find water transit services that will be a welcome addition to your trek.

    There’s an App for That!

    There are many apps that can help you quickly find a way to reach your destination. Check out the few below for inspiration.
    • Google Maps
    • TripGo
    • Citymapper
    • Moovit
    • Many regions offer online trip planners or even apps to help you combine public transportation options and get around. Just search the name of your destination city followed by the words “transit trip planner.”

    Get Social

    Many public transit systems and services—and their riders—use social media. When you get ready to travel, connect with local public transportation on Facebook and Twitter.

    And if you’re getting social with public transit, consider tagging or posting about your experience on the Voices for Public Transit Facebook and Twitter pages and let us know if you’re taking a #TransitTrek. Share your photos and tell us how you’re making public transportation part of your summer travels.
  • Come on our Summer Transit Trek!



    Millions of Americans are hitting the road this summer, and many are turning to public transportation to get them around these destinations. Join us as we embark on a Tourism Transit Trek across the nation!

    You can follow along and share how you use transit when you travel by joining the conversation on Facebook and Twitter.

    Embracing Multi-Modal Transportation

    A lot us begin our summer vacation by loading up the car or heading to the airport. But once you get to your destination—whether it’s a big city, resort town, or National Park—you can see more, meet people, and relax by using public transportation.

    Here are just a few ideas for using public transportation on your summer vacation.

    • Beach Town Buses—Many American beach communities support tourism by offering free or low-cost bus or shuttle services. Public transit helps reduce traffic snarls and can make towns more walkable. Before you head to the beach, visit the tourism website of your destination town or region. Here’s another hint: You can often reach beach towns from cities using a regional bus service. Have you tried one of these bus services? Tell us about it here!
    • National Park Shuttles—Many National Parks are packed full of visitors all summer long. They suffer from road congestion and clogged parking lots. To address this problem, several National Parks now offer shuttle service. You can combine bicycling, walking, and bus-riding to see parks and help reduce the impact of cars. Have you visited a national park? Did you bike or take a sight-seeing bus? Tell us about it here!
    • Multi-modal Transportation—Driving and parking in a big, unfamiliar city can be a serious drag. Some cities offer day or week-long transit passes that let you use multiple forms of transportation. You can save money and sometimes travel faster by using buses, commuter trains, and light rail. Many cities now also have bike- and scooter-sharing, which provide another transportation option for visitors. Tell us about what type of transit you hopped on when you visited your summer destination!

    Where Have You Used Public Transit When You Travel?

    We want to hear from you. Share your travel transit tips and photos by posting on Facebook and Twitter and tagging us at #Voices4Transit.

  • We Did It!


    1,000+ Petition Signers
    3,700+ Emails to Congress
    126,600+ Reached on Social Media

    You made #GetOnBoard Day a success.

    Nationwide Action for Inaugural Get on Board Day

    Americans across the nation raised their voices on April 25 during the first-ever National Get On Board Day. People gathered in city squares for rallies, shared their support for #publictransit on social media, rode their local public transportation systems, and much more.

    Voices for Public Transit advocates also emailed their lawmakers to urge them to champion public transportation during upcoming infrastructure and transportation debates.

    Transit in Our Communities

    One highlight of National Get On Board Day was the strong participation of transit systems around the country. More than 250 systems, agencies, and supporting organizations participated in the event—from Alameda-Contra Costa Transit to Williamsburg Area Transit Authority and everywhere in between.

    Many transit systems rolled out the red carpet for citizens by offering free rides. We also saw systems host a health fair, offer yoga, and run a scavenger hunt. It all showcased how public transit brings communities together and improves citizens’ lives.

    What Happens Next?

    National Get On Board Day sent a powerful message to Capitol Hill. More members of Congress, especially those who are new to Congress, know Americans want increased funding for public transportation. Our job now is to make sure that message stays at the forefront.

    In the coming months, Congress will be able to demonstrate whether they’re truly listening. We’ll be watching—and we’ll be calling on Congress again to support mobility for all Americans by investing in public transportation.</i,g>

  • Our Nation Needs to Get on Board


    We’re coming to the climax of the public transit story: When you get right down to it, building out public transportation is a matter of national importance.

    Public transit matters to individuals and communities. It must also matter to the nation if we are to achieve the kind of mobility people want and need in the 21st century.

    A strong multi-modal transportation system, with public transportation as the backbone, allows people to thrive and commerce traffic, and the business of our nation to flow smoothly. That’s why today, April 25th, we are asking our lawmakers to ensure that America is “On Board.” For public transportation

    1+2+3 = Better Transit—and Better Mobility—for Everyone

    When you speak directly to Congress, they listen. Take just a few minutes today to urge Congress to “Get On Board!”

    Federal investment in public transportation pays off societally and economically:

    • Creating Jobs and Powering the Economy—Investing in public transportation creates jobs and serves as an economic catalyst. Every $1 billion invested in public transportation supports or creates more than 50,000 jobs. Transit projects also attract business investment and community development.
    • Fighting Poverty—Access to transportation is the single-most significant factor in enabling people to break the cycle of poverty. Public transportation helps more people access jobs and education, and gives them greater self-reliance.
    • Promoting Public Health—Every year, transportation barriers prevent millions of people from accessing medical care. A greater investment in public transit can help close the transportation gap that limits access to healthcare. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) supports investment in public transportation because of its contribution to public health.
    • Congestion--We also need public transportation to reduce traffic congestion. It’s no fun to be stuck in traffic, and it costs our nation more than $300 billion annually. A renewed national commitment to public transportation will help fight this rising cost.
    • Cleaner Air—In the context of the national conversation around reducing carbon emissions, taking more cars off the road should be a key part of the solution, and that’s something public transit does better than anything else.

    Why Do We Need Congress to GET ON BOARD?

    Looking ahead, Congress has two major opportunities to get on board with public transit:

    • Infrastructure Legislation—Republicans and Democrats alike have said they want to tackle our nation’s infrastructure challenges. Increased investment for public transportation should be part of any infrastructure legislation.
    • Transportation Bill Reauthorization—Our current transportation bill, Fixing America’s Surface Transportation (FAST) Act, expires in 2020. As part of a new long-term transportation bill—or separately—Congress needs to shore up the Highway Trust Fund (HTF), which helps fund public transit.

    We’re already sharing the stories of how public transportation benefits individuals and entire communities. Stay tuned for actions you can take to get our nation “On Board” not just today, but for every day to come!

  • Is Your Community on Board?


    Communities of all sizes and transit systems around the nation will celebrate public transportation’s role in American mobility during the inaugural National “Get on Board” Day.

    This one-day nationwide event will bring attention to the societal and economic value of public transportation. This event will raise public transit’s profile, emphasize how public transit is the foundation of a forward-looking mobility strategy, and make the case for increased investment in public transportation to elected officials.

    The Next Part of the Story: #2—“Get on Board” for Stronger Communities

    In our previous blog post, encouraged Voices for Public Transit advocates to share why they are personally “On Board” with public transportation, but that’s just the beginning of the story we need Congress to hear.

    We all know the benefits of public transportation extend far beyond the individual. Show us how public transportation makes your community stronger—or how it could if more public transit were available. Looking for inspiration? Here are just a few examples of why communities, not just individuals, should “Get on Board” with public transit:

    • Jobs!—Every $1 billion invested in public transportation creates or supports approximately 50,000 jobs.
    • Economic and Community Development—Public transportation attracts business investment, builds tax revenue, and fosters affordable housing. Did you know that 70 percent of public funding for public transportation reaches the private sector? That figure alone should convince communities off all sizes to “Get On Board” when it comes to public transportation.
    • Public Health—Public transportation supports healthy communities. We’re not just talking about the public transit riders that get exercise by walking to their stop or station. Public transportation provides a critical link to hospitals and medical centers so people can access healthcare—especially preventative care. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends expanding public transportation because of its contribution to public health.
    • Quality of Life—Public transportation reduces traffic and air pollution, gives people more flexibility and access, and brings folks together so members of the community feel more connected.

    What Can You Do to Get Your Community On Board with Public Transit?

    Start by showing us what public transit does or could mean for your community: post photos or short videos of public transportation in action in your community on our Facebook page or Twitter using the hashtag #GetOnBoard.

    Tell us more about the examples that come to mind for you:

    • Does your bus or rail system connect students to a local college or university?
    • Are new housing or new businesses growing up close to public transit?
    • Has public transportation helped revitalize an older neighborhood?
    • Do you see people in your community using public transportation to shop or attend community events?

    We know many communities don’t yet have robust public transit or have outgrown the public transit systems they currently use. Those stories are just as important to tell! What public transit improvements are on your community’s wish list?

    Share more with us today!

  • Are You “On Board” for Public Transportation?


    Are You “On Board” for Public Transportation?
    Show Congress the 1-2-3 of Why Public Transit Matters

    Save the Date! April 25 is national “Get on Board” Day. So what exactly is “Get On Board Day” and what does it mean for you? Great question!

    Public transit systems and mobility champions will be uniting to raise awareness about the importance of public transportation. We’ll be highlighting the economic, social, cultural, and safety benefits of public transportation—and why we all need to “Get On Board” when it comes to investing to improve and expand public transportation in communities large and small.

    You already know public transit matters at three key levels: personally, for local communities, and for the nation as a whole. Together, those stories—the personal, community-wide, and national—make up the 1-2-3 of why public transit matters, and each plays a role as we work to show the new Congress why they need to keep public transportation at the forefront in their infrastructure and transportation discussions.

    Let’s Start at the Beginning: #1—How Do Strong Public Transportation Networks Benefit You?

    Strong mobility systems have public transportation as their backbone. Whether you ride public transportation or not, you reap the benefits every day! Here are just a few ways people have told us they personally benefit from public transit:

     

    • Easier Connectivity: Buses and trains help reduce traffic congestion for drivers; cabs and rideshare services make it more feasible for people to walk and bike because they will have other ways of getting to their destinations if weather or other conditions change. Flexible public transportation makes getting around easier for everyone.
    • Greater Safety: Public transit-oriented communities are five times safer than communities centered around vehicle transit. Better public transportation creates more compact development and integrated communities, which in turn reduces auto miles traveled and produces safer speeds in those areas.
    • Financial Benefits: The average household spends 16 cents of every dollar on transportation, with most of the money going toward buying and maintaining a car. Households that use transit and give up a car save nearly $10,000 annually.
    • Healthier Living—It’s easy to be more active when you use public transportation. Most riders walk to their stop or station, and many combine bicycling and transit. Traveling by public transportation is also 10 times safer per mile than traveling by car.

    We Want to Hear from YOU!

    How do YOU benefit from public transit? Tell us how YOU Get On Board with public transit, even if you don’t ride!

    Your story could be featured on our website and social media channels as part of our upcoming Get On Board Day!

    What’s to Come?

    We hope every member of Voices for Public Transit will participate. Here are some ways to get involved:

    • Find Out What’s Happening Locally—Visit the website of your local public transit system—or check social media—and find out what’s planned in your area. Transit systems around the country are hosting special events and activities. Check out what’s happening and get involved.
    • Ride Transit—The easiest way to be part of “Get on Board” Day is literally to get on board. Show your support by riding transit on Thursday, April 25.
    • Spread the Word—Let friends, family, co-workers, and others know that April 25 is national “Get on Board” Day and encourage them to participate. In addition, post on social media, using the hashtags #GetOnBoard #transit.
    • Communicate with Elected Officials—We’ll be reaching out soon, so you can communicate directly through email to your members of Congress, as well as state and local elected officials, letting them know you’re participating in “Get on Board” Day because you support public transportation.

    So, mark your calendar for April 25. We’ll be back to highlight ways communities and our nation as a whole benefit when we “Get On Board.”

  • FBF: Safer Communities Brought to You By Public Transit


    Safety is always timely, so we’re recirculating one of our most popular blog posts from 2017. It’s a good refresher on one of the big reasons investing in public transportation is so important.

    U.S. traffic fatalities have risen over the last two years. Expanding public transportation is a great solution to address this alarming trend.

    Public Transportation Means Safer Transportation for Everyone

    According to the 2016 report “The Hidden Traffic Safety Solution: Public Transportation,” your chances of being in an accident are 90 percent greater traveling by car than riding public transportation.

    Public transportation safety benefits extend beyond riders, however. In communities with strong public transit systems, transportation is safer for everyone—even those who don’t use public transportation. Transit riders and non-riders alike see their crash risk cut in half in regions with high-frequency public transportation.

    Vulnerable and high-risk drivers, such as teens and older Americans, particularly benefit from the increased safety provided by public transportation. In areas with robust public transportation options, higher-risk drivers are more likely to leave cars parked and use transit services, making the roads safer for everyone. Transit-oriented cities have about half the traffic fatality rate compared to automobile-centric cities.

    Investing in Safety Technologies

    Public transportation moves the needle forward on transportation safety technologies. The cars of tomorrow—including autonomous or self-driving cars—will likely use technologies being deployed by public transportation today. These safety innovations include:

    • Collision avoidance systems
    • Pedestrian detection and avoidance
    • Blind spot detection
    • Driver fatigue and inattention alerts

    Expanded public transportation means safer travel for everyone—just one more benefit of investing in public transportation infrastructure for communities of all sizes.

  • A Hearty Welcome to the 116th Congress



    To new and returning members of Congress: Welcome to Washington! You have a lot of work ahead of you—and public transportation deserves your support.

    On January 3, members of the 116th Congress kicked off what could be a turbulent—but also productive—session.

    Congress is now officially divided, with Democrats controlling the House and Republicans the Senate. In addition, the session began under the specter of an ongoing government shutdown. Communities of all sizes depend on flexible mobility options including public transportation. The government shutdown can jeopardize riders and non-riders by impacting daily travel, professional and educational opportunities, and ultimately local economies.

    At first glance, the combination of divided government and partisan rancor might look like a recipe for more gridlock. But ultimately, regardless of party and political divisions, lawmakers want to serve their constituents. They want to get something done—and therefore, they must find common ground. It’s critical that Congress and the Administration work together to find a solution that will allow the government to re-open, and then focus on creating infrastructure and transportation policies that the House, Senate, and Administration can agree on.

    Fingers Crossed for Infrastructure Legislation

    Americans broadly agree that we need increased infrastructure funding—both to address deferred maintenance and to meet the needs of a growing population and economy. Unfortunately, in 2017 and 2018, infrastructure proposals failed to advance. This year—fingers crossed—could be different.

    Democratic House leaders have said that passing infrastructure legislation is a major goal. Senate Republicans have also said that infrastructure will be on the 2019 agenda. Legislators now need to move from general agreement to specific legislation. As legislation is developed, our community will be speaking up loudly in support of public transportation.

    President Trump remains a wildcard in the debate. In the past, he has voiced strong support for major infrastructure legislation. However, it remains to be seen what his approach will be in 2019—and whether he’ll be open to negotiating with Democrats.

    Building on Strong Support for Public Transportation

    Transportation is bipartisan by its very nature: Democrats and Republicans (and third-party voters) share roads, rail lines, and public transit systems. On this point, Congress has historically agreed. There have been decades of bipartisan support for transportation funding, including public transit.

    Just last year, in fact, Congress united across party lines to support increased funding for public transit in the Fiscal Year 2018 budget. Voices for Public Transit will be reminding lawmakers of our nation’s historic support for public transportation—and the need for Congress to again stand up for transit.

    So, let’s join together to welcome Congress—all of Congress—to Washington—and express our wishes for a successful, productive session that strengthens our nation for the future. Every American needs mobility, and Congress can help all of us by passing legislation that makes strong investments in public transportation as part of an integrated, multi-modal transportation strategy.

    Now, let’s get to work!


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