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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.

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We Asked; You Answered: What Public Transit Cuts Could Mean

Federal funding plays an important role in bringing public transit to local communities, as well as in maintaining and improving existing public transportation systems. We asked Voices for Public Transit members to tell us how their lives and communities might be affected if that funding were curtailed significantly or eliminated altogether. How would people’s lives change?

We asked, and you answered. Here are the main takeaways:

  • Traffic Congestion — The number one concern, according to the Voices for Public Transit community, would be increased traffic congestion. In 2014, Americans spent an estimated 6.9 billion hours stuck in traffic, which represents about $160 billion in lost time and fuel costs — or $960 per average motorist. In many communities, traffic congestion is only getting worse and will worsen dramatically if Congress curtails or eliminates federal public transit funding.

  • Job Losses and Increased Poverty — Second only to traffic congestion, job losses and increased poverty were seen as the second-worst community consequence. Public transportation plays a vital role in enabling many Americans who cannot afford to own a car to participate in the economy through full-time work, access to educational opportunities, and more. In addition, according to a Harvard University study, access to public transit is the number one factor for lifting people out of poverty.

  • Increased Costs — To date, more than 74 percent of survey respondents have said the cost of transportation would increase for their household in a world without public transportation. This isn’t surprising given that the average household that gives up a car and uses public transportation instead can save more than $9,700 annually.

When President Trump in March announced his initial plans to cut public transit funding, it sent a shockwave through our community. On May 22, the President released his full budget proposal, and the outcome for public transit remains disappointing. His proposed public transit cuts reaffirmed possible dire consequences for our public transportation infrastructure and economy. We will be watching closely to see whether Congress decides to act on those recommendations or take a different course.