Published 20 Sep, 2011
On September 20 TWU members rallied on the steps of capitols and in the streets across the country to tell Congress “Don’t X Out Public Transit.”
As part of a coalition composed of public transit advocates and allies, such as the Amalgamated Transit Union and the American Public Transportation Association, members participated in events throughout the day at transit stations and stops in San Francisco, Philadelphia, Houston, Miami and New York as Local 171 members released a joint statement with the Ann Arbor Transportation Authority system highlighting the importance of reliable public transportation.
The message was the clear—to take a stand against Congress’ threat to cut more than a third of federal funding for public transportation while making the nation know how they will be affected by such drastic cuts.
“We are making the traveling public and transit users aware that without proper funding bus services will be dramatically cut,” said International President James C. Little. “This would prevent workers, or those with no other available transportation, from getting to work.”
Not only are public transportation services in jeopardy, but the careers of those who work for public transportation and those unemployed as funding would increase job growth.
Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-CA), chair of the Environment and Public Works Committee, is in agreement that if this proposal is agreed upon around 141,000-500,000 transit jobs, 360,000 highway and construction jobs across the nation will be lost. This is would be devastating to the nation’s economy at a time when people and families are already struggling.
Now is the time that any proposal made must include public transportation that is dependable and accessible. We should build our transportation infrastructure, instead of cutting it and embrace clean, efficient transportation technology.
It is essential to retain and continue to train transit workers to provide the consistent services and safety assurance that the public relies on every day from public transportation.
TWU will continue to hold our elected officials accountable as part of our “Didn’t You Say” campaign, a response to congressional members regarding their promise robust transportation investments for our future, and supporting the Obama Administration’s jobs bill as we continue to tell Congress Don’t X Out Public Transit.