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.

Voices For Transit

We All Benefit

Whether you ride or not, public transportation benefits all of us. It reduces pollution, eases traffic congestion, and helps our communities thrive. In cities, suburbs, and rural America, public transit provides vital connections to jobs, education, medical care, and our larger communities. Help us keep America moving.

  • Public Transit Funding Cuts by the Numbers

    Don’t let the short-term budget bill signed on May 5 lull you into thinking the threat of public transit funding cuts is behind us. The president has yet to release his full budget proposal for the coming fiscal year — but here are just a few of the consequences we anticipate based on the “skinny budget” the administration previewed in February:

    The number of jobs at risk thanks to President Trump’s proposed budget cuts. Those jobs include 502,000 construction jobs plus another 300,000 jobs associated with increased economic productivity driven by public transit investment.

    The potential loss in economic output resulting from these proposed public transit cuts. Public transit investment pays off in the form of economic growth — growth that will be curtailed by a severe reduction in federal funding.

    Proposed cuts to the “New Starts” program would immediately jeopardize 53 public transit projects that are already underway in 23 states. Bus and rail projects in large and smaller cities could be scaled back or potentially eliminated because of proposed budget cuts.

    Every single state has benefited from the competitive TIGER (Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery) discretionary grant program, which was launched in 2009. President Trump’s proposed budget would completely eliminate this popular and successful program.

    President Trump has said he plans to invest $1 trillion in American infrastructure over 10 years, including public transportation. It makes no sense to commit to infrastructure improvements only to gut public transportation funding. The American people deserve better.

    We’ll know more soon. We anticipate President Trump could release his full budget proposal as early as next week — and it could be the first step toward eliminating federal support for public transportation altogether.

    Each of these big numbers tells a different story, but together they paint a grim picture of lost jobs, economic damage, and broken promises. Help us make that story even more personal — and more compelling. Take our “World Without Public Transit” survey today.

    This week is National Infrastructure Week. Check out our Facebook and Twitter pages for more details!

  • Safer Communities Brought to You By Public Transit

    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.

  • The Economic Consequences of Proposed Transit Cuts

    What would America look like without public transportation?

    It is a scary question, but it’s not entirely outside the realm of possibility. President Trump’s budget preview includes deep cuts to public transportation that would start by jeopardizing $38 billion in transit projects already in various stages of development. And that could be just the tip of the iceberg. We may be seeing the first step toward eliminating federal funding for public transportation altogether.

    Public transportation projects of all sizes, all around the country, rely on a combination of federal, state, and local funding. The Trump budget puts at risk dozens of public transit projects that had already received commitments from the federal government. These projects include expansions of public transit in large, congested urban areas such as Phoenix, Indianapolis, and Dallas, but also in smaller cities such as Durham (NC), Baton Rouge (LA), and Reno (NV).

    Transportation Cuts Would Cost Jobs and Hurt Communities

    For millions of Americans, these funding cuts would translate into lost jobs. People would have fewer options for employment and education. Those who cannot drive would have more difficulty accessing healthcare and community services.

    Negative impacts at the personal level also mean negative impacts at the community level—particularly when it comes to economic development and job creation. Numerous studies have shown that public transit funding pays off by creating private-sector jobs, attracting investments, and spurring business growth. These would all be at risk if Congress enacts President Trump’s proposal.

    What Do the President’s Proposed Cuts Mean in Real Numbers?

    Among other things, the President’s recommended budget would drastically reduce funding for the innovative, competitive TIGER (Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery) discretionary grant program. Since 2009, this program has cost-effectively provided more than $5 billion to more than 420 transportation programs in all 50 states.

    Cuts to the federal “New Starts” program could put at risk more than 800,000 jobs, including 502,000 construction and related jobs; and an additional 300,000 longer term jobs associated with economic productivity.

    How Would a World Without Public Transit Affect You?

    We are at a crossroads for public transit. What would happen if our nation ended federal support for public transportation altogether? What would your life be like if public transit in your community couldn’t improve and expand—and what would be the consequences for your community as a whole?

    We want to hear from you! Please take our brief 7-question survey to help us highlight what a world without public transit would look like.

  • Starting off with a BANG

    We’re off to a strong start in fighting to protect public transit from President Trump’s proposed budget cuts. Over April recess, Voices for Public Transit advocates told Congress in no uncertain terms that their constituents believe public transit needs to remain a priority for the federal government.

    Here’s what you accomplished:

    • More than 18,000 emails sent to Congress
    • More than 990 letters to the editor submitted
    • More than 14,254 engagements on Facebook and Twitter
    • More than 190 advocates clicked to download our “Protect Public Transportation Funding” toolkits
    • More than 540 new members joined our community

    Together, we’ve delivered our message through multiple channels and will continue to tell our members of Congress:

    The economic consequences of public transit budget cuts would be devastating to American communities. Congress should honor its longstanding commitment to American public transportation by rejecting President Trump’s proposed cuts to public transit funding.

    If you haven’t had a chance to add your voice to this effort, please take action now.

    President Trump is expected to release his full budget proposal soon — and the budget process will continue for several months.

  • A Look at the Public Transportation Supply Chain

    American public transportation carries more than 35 million people every weekday. This massive undertaking is made possible by a $66 billion public transportation sector that directly employs about 400,000 people.

    The employment and economic value of American public transportation reaches much further than just mobility. The government investment made in public transportation supports millions of private-sector jobs all across the country. In fact, more than 70 percent of government funding for public transit flows through the private sector.

    These private-sector jobs are part of a critical, but often unseen, public transportation supply chain. When Washington focuses on infrastructure in the coming months, members of Congress should remember that public transportation investments benefit a broad array of American businesses.

    What Makes Up the Public Transportation Supply Chain?

    Private-sector companies across the United States serve the public transit industry in many ways. In some cases, local businesses with various specialties provide services to their area's transit system. In other instances, larger manufacturers or nimble software companies serve public transit systems in many states. What do all these companies do?

    • Vehicle and Parts Manufacturers — America’s public transit supply chain includes manufacturers of rail cars, buses, and vehicle equipment and parts, such as electric systems, chassis, and interiors. Public transportation manufacturers can be found in more than 30 states.
    • Equipment Manufacturers and Suppliers — Public transit operations rely on much more than vehicles. Think of the public transit system in its entirety: rail platforms, escalators, shelters, safety equipment, fare collection systems, and more are all pieces of the public transportation supply chain.
    • Professional Support — Engineers, architects, transportation planners, and other professional specialties are instrumental to building and maintaining the public transit ecosystem. Some public transit systems also retain advertising and public relations agencies, outside accountants, and attorneys in addition to the full-time staff who support their day-to-day operations.
    • Service Providers — Public transportation systems contract with private-sector companies to provide a range of services, such as security, facility maintenance, vehicle repair, and more.
    • Emerging Technologies — Public transportation systems invest in innovation to improve their operations. Companies specializing in clean fuels and vehicles, safety technologies, and software, Wi-Fi service, and apps are all part of the public transportation supply chain.

    The takeaway: Public transportation has positive employment, economic, and innovation impacts for communities across the nation because this industry supports a large, diversified supply chain. Congress needs to recognize this bigger picture when it takes steps to improve and expand America’s transportation infrastructure. Money invested in public transit is money that supports much more than just mobility.

  • Advocate spotlight

    Haley R.

    My name is Haley T. Ritter, and I am a hard-working, self-employed, nationally certified and state-licensed freelance American Sign Language (ASL) interpreter for the local Deaf/Hard-of-Hearing Community in the Phoenix Metro area.

    Read More

  • Share Your Experience

    Tell us why you support investments in public transportation for your community.

    Make your story available for use?