As the nation grieves the life and legacy of the late U.S. House Representative John Lewis, the Transit Equity Coalition strives to honor his vision of safe, accessible and affordable public transportation for all. Rep. Lewis said he smiled in mugshots because he knew he was on the “right side of history.” As Freedom Riders, Rep. Lewis and Rev. CT Vivian fought for civil rights with Rosa Parks, making transit equity a reality. Take action today. Ask your Senators to ensure funding is allocated to protect public transit, the workers and the riders.
Today, public transit systems across the U.S. are facing an unprecedented threat. They’re experiencing steep losses of ridership during the pandemic, and consequent losses of revenue. They’re also incurring additional expenditures for frequent sanitization of handrails, benches, seats, and other frequently touched surfaces.
On many transit systems, buses are operating free with rear-door entry to protect operators and passengers from being in close proximity, since the farebox is typically located right next to the driver. These transit systems are having to operate buses with no farebox revenue.
Now, as the Senate is working on an economic relief package, we need to put pressure on our Senators to allocate needed emergency funding for transit systems.
At a minimum, they need to preserve the $16 billion in transit funding that the House passed in the HEROES Act and extend funding to smaller transit agencies. Preferably, they need to provide even more funding, since estimates of the projected funding shortfall for transit agencies vary from $24 billion to $40 billion.
This is an extremely serious situation. Without this funding, transit systems that communities and entire regional economies depend on may cease to exist, stranding millions of people (especially those who can’t afford a car) from being able to get to work, school, doctor’s appointments, and more.
Please join the social media action today urging the Senate to include emergency transit funding in their relief package–the social media toolkit is here.
If you’re not on social media, you can find contact information for your Senators here.Digital Toolkit