APTA urges Congress to pass transportation bill extension

The American Public Transportation Association is backing President Obama in his call on Congress to pass an extension to the transportation bill to continue funding for highway and mass-transit projects. The current bill is set to expire Sept 30. The last federal surface transportation bill, called SAFETEA-LU, expired almost two years ago.

The White House claims about 4,000 construction workers could be out of work and the government would not collect nearly $1 billion in fuel taxes that fund highway construction if the bill is not extended.

According to the APTA, every $1 billion invested in public transportation creates and supports 36,000 American jobs. Last week the APTA released a study titled “Impact of the Recession on Public Transportation Businesses.” One of its findings was that 74 percent of the private sector transit business responding said that uncertainty regarding passage of the federal transportation bill is having a negative impact on business revenue.

— Glenn Swain