APTA warns federal cuts could cost U.S. $277 billion

An American Public Transportation Association (APTA) report released Thursday states the elimination of federal transportation funding would have disastrous consequences to local communities and the national economy.

According to APTA, two proposals have been introduced in Congress that would cut transportation funding by as much as 43 percent. That could jeopardize $227 billion worth of economic activity over six years, according to an APTA analysis.  Current funding to transportation is set to expire on May 31.

“Support for the nation’s transportation systems is a partnership among the local, state and federal government with 73 percent of the funds for public transit going to create and support private sector jobs,” APTA CEO and President Michael Melaniphy said. “We must address our growing public transit ridership, which reached 10.8 billion trips in 2014, the largest in 58 years. Without federal investment, there will be negative impacts in towns small and large. In fact, states with some of the highest proportions of rural residents will see the greatest percentage of their total funding eliminated for their local public transportation systems."

In their analysis, APTA reports that up to 38,000 buses would not be able to be replaced and project stalls in multiple areas nationwide would halt economic development. They also state job losses would be likely. 

In order to combat this, communities across the country are calling on lawmakers to provide a long-term solution to transportation and the $88 billion backlog of aging infrastructure and systems.