Senate bill aims to ensure mass transit links people with good jobs

U.S. Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-OR) said on Monday that he recently introduced new legislation to promote local governments in better linking their local transportation systems to economic and job opportunities in their areas.

Unfortunately, many low-income Americans have difficulty reaching well-paying jobs via reliable public transportation.

The legislation -- called the Transportation, Access and Opportunity Act -- is designed to improve the U.S. economy by strengthening the access people have to transportation and jobs.

“The American dream is that if you work hard and play by the rules, you’ll be able to be a part of the middle class and provide a good living for your family,” Merkley said. “But if you have no way to get to a good job – or if you have to get up in the middle of the night and use multiple modes of transportation to get there – it’s going to be much more difficult to ever reach that dream. We need to make sure our transportation systems are connecting everyone to opportunities that will help them get ahead and provide a solid financial foundation for their families.”

“As The Portland metropolitan region recovers from the devastating effects of the Great Recession, more jobs are being created,” a Portland Metro Councilor Craig Dirksen said. “However, new jobs don’t help people who can’t get to them. That’s why we have to keep looking for innovative ways to better connect Oregonians to economic and educational opportunities.”

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U.S. Senator Jeff Merkley

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