The American Public Transportation Association (APTA), on behalf of the public transportation industry, released a statement applauding Congressional leaders and the Trump Administration for reaching a bipartisan agreement on the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act that includes $25 billion in funding for essential public transportation services.
Last night, the U.S. Senate passed the bill unanimously, by a vote of 96-0. The House of Representatives is expected to consider the bill on Friday and the President has expressed his support for the legislation.
"Public transit is a critical lifeline for millions of Americans, and this legislation will provide much needed support to the transit systems working tirelessly to provide essential public transit services for health care workers, first responders, and grocery and pharmacy workers, as well as medical transportation for kidney dialysis, cancer treatments and other critical care," APTA President and CEO Paul P. Skoutelas said in a statement.
Skoutelas went on to thank the various members of Congressional leadership, along with the number of committee chairs and ranking members in Congress who contributed to crafting the legislation.
"We urge swift passage by the House of Representatives and signing of the bill by President Trump so that these funds can be distributed to transit systems as quickly as possible,” Skoutelas added.
By this time last week, APTA sent a message to lawmakers strongly urging that $16 billion in direct emergency funding be immediately provided to public transit agencies in order to offset the significant direct costs and revenue losses caused as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. The association said the public transportation industry is seeing dramatic reductions in ridership due to the workplace restrictions, with an estimated $14 billion in losses expected in both fare and sales tax revenue.