March 2, 2009
Obama Promotes Transit to Congress and the Nation
In President Barack Obama’s first address to a Joint Session of Congress (the equivalent of a State of the Union Speech in a non-election year) on Feb. 24, he cited public transportation among his administration’s top priorities.
As he began his discussion of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act and how it will save or create 3.5 million jobs over the next two years, he said: “More than 90 percent of these jobs will be in the private sector—jobs rebuilding our roads and bridges; constructing wind turbines and solar panels; laying broadband and expanding mass transit.”
“We will rebuild, we will recover, and the United States of America will emerge stronger than before,” he said. “The weight of this crisis will not determine the destiny of this nation. The answers to our problems don’t lie beyond our reach. They exist in our laboratories and universities; in our fields and our factories; in the imaginations of our entrepreneurs and the pride of the hardest-working people on Earth.”
In response to the statement, APTA President William W. Millar said: “APTA and all its members were pleased to hear President Obama promote public transportation in his first speech before a Joint Session of Congress. We are delighted that he recognizes the critical role that public transit plays in our nation’s economic well-being.”