Circulate San Diego joined 38 other California organizations in signing a letter urging Congress to invest in public transit. While Congressional funding for public transit in the CARES Act and the American Rescue Plan averted disaster, public transit deserves continuing investment by the federal government. Every dollar invested in transit offers a five-to-one economic return and every $1 billion invested produces 49,700 jobs. Moreover, investing in public transit is also an investment in racial justice because it is essential to the economic well-being of communities of color. Investments in public transit are also critical to averting a climate disaster.
For these reasons, the coalition requested $20 billion in annual funding for transit operations. Federal funding for transit is generally reserved for capital investments like new buses, trains, and rail lines. However, riders' ability to rely on transit ultimately depends on the level of service offered by their local transit system. Federal investment in public transit service will serve communities better, saving existing riders' time and bringing new riders into the system.
The coalition also requested an expansion in over-subcribed capital funding, funding for zero-emissions fleets, funding for safe streets and transit-friendly communities, and fair treatment for transit workers. Read the full letter here. [pdf]