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4/9/2015 - MAYOR FINCH JOINS BIPARTISAN CAMPAIGN CALLING ON CONGRESS TO PASS TRANSPORTATION BILL

“In our state’s largest city, we’re investing in transit-oriented development, creating thousands of jobs and apartments within walking distance of Metro-North and Amtrak trains. We know that our congressional delegation is committed to investing in public transit, and hope that others across the country step to the plate for our country and its future.” – Mayor Finch

BRIDGEPORT, CONN. (APRIL 9, 2015) – As part of the national Stand Up For Transportation Day of Action that includes events across the country, Bridgeport Mayor Bill Finch today called upon Congress to renew funding for the federal transportation bill, Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act (MAP-21), which is set to expire on May 31.

Public transit is key to Mayor Finch’s vision for the future our state’s largest city. Cities like Bridgeport account for significantly less pollution than suburbs.

That’s why in order to combat climate change, Bridgeport is building for the future. By improving the city’s downtown area – and developing Steelpointe Harbor – through the development of nearly 1,000 apartments, more people will live within walking distance to the train.

And, by building a second train station – as well as hundreds of apartments within walking distance – more Bridgeporters will be beating back climate change via public transit.

“In our state’s largest city, we’re investing in transit-oriented development, creating thousands of jobs and apartments within walking distance of Metro-North and Amtrak trains. We’re doing so in part because we trust that local, state, and federal bodies of government will continue investing in our city and a stronger public transportation future. We know that our congressional delegation is committed to investing in public transit, and hope that others across the country step to the plate for our country and its future.”

In addition to mayors, a broad coalition of transportation providers, businesses, transportation system users, state partners and others are calling on Congress to pass a long-term transportation bill that increases investments in our transportation infrastructure. On the national level, a new analysis from American Public Transportation Association shows that more than $227 billion in economic productivity is at risk over the next six years without long-term federal investment in transit.

The nation faces a $160 billion backlog just to bring public transit and road systems into a state of good repair. The lack of a long-term federal funding bill creates local funding uncertainty, which jeopardizes transportation project planning and discourages private sector investment. With a lack of a commitment on the federal level, that stifles local business investment and job creation in our city and nationwide.  

A long-term, fully funded transportation bill must include robust investment for all modes of transportation. Transit ridership surged to 10.8 billion trips last year, Amtrak ridership continues to hit record highs, bicycle commuting has increased 60 percent since 2005, and national freight tonnage is projected to increase by 25 percent in the next decade.

Federal investment has not kept pace with this demand, resulting in an outdated, overburdened surface transportation system that is ill-equipped to handle current, let alone future, needs. Across the United States, our public transit maintenance needs exceed $77 billion, and the nation’s bridge backlog alone is an estimated $121 billion. The HTF, which funds most highway and transit spending, is almost depleted and the federal government is struggling to maintain the status quo, much less make new investments.

To learn more about Stand Up for Transportation Day please visit www.standup4trasnportation.org or follow the Day of Action on Twitter at #SU4T.

 

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