Originally published on Bikocity.
Day after day, we witness backtracking in our country. Looking at the big picture, after nudging tenaciously year after year, the hurdles some of us thought we had energy to overcome are set up once more like barricades to common sense and dignity. Some of the hurdles that we thought determined environmentally and socially compassionate forces had overcome slip through our grasp metaphorically like water — or worse, dehydrate from the flames of oppression.
Mass transit is a key to jobs, food, education, and progress. Transit advocates call for your voice, your action to help legislators know that this mode of transport shouldn’t be under attack.
Streetsblog points out that the Trump budget is disastrous to transit advocates: “The list goes on: Dozens of transit projects across the nation — as well as walking and biking projects that count on funds from the TIGER program — are under threat unless Congress scraps the drastic cuts proposed by the White House.”
Thus, “Transportation for America is urging people who care about walking, biking, and transit to contact their representatives.” Here’s some of its text:
After months of promises to invest a trillion dollars in infrastructure, the first official action taken by the Trump administration on the issue is a proposal to eliminate the popular TIGER competitive grant program, cut the funding that helps cities of all sizes build new transit lines, and terminate funding for the long-distance passenger rail lines that rural areas depend on.
The competitive TIGER grant program is one of the only ways that local communities of all sizes can directly access federal funds. And unlike the old outdated practice of earmarking, to win this funding, project sponsors have to bring significant local funding to the table and provide evidence of how their project will accomplish numerous goals. The TIGER grant program has brought more than three non-federal dollars to the table for each federal dollar awarded.
We cannot become ambivalent, complacent, or complicit.
Mass transit isn’t the only form of clean transportation facing defunding. Bike-friendly & ped-friendly roads create 46% more jobs per dollar spent, but they aren’t getting love in Trump’s proposed budget either. Get on the phone and try talking to your Congressional reps about the need for transit, bike, and ped funding. From the article linked above, here’s a good note to highlight:
“Infrastructure projects that incorporate bicycle and pedestrian elements create more jobs than road-only projects. A lot more. Around 46% more jobs are created per dollar spent, according to a 2011 study from the Political Economy Research Institute (PERI) at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst.”
Oh, the good old days: Year of the Tiger Brings $1.5 Billion in TIGER (Transportation) Grants
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