April 14, 2017
APTA Undertakes Hill Campaign to Prevent Proposed Cuts; Reminds Industry to Contact Congress

Following President Trump’s proposal to cut major public transit appropriations for the remainder of Fiscal Year 2017 and in the FY 2018 budget (the so-called “skinny budget”), APTA’s Government Affairs team is working aggressively on Capitol Hill to make the case for continued funding.

Further, now that Congress is on recess, APTA reminds its members to open their facilities to members of Congress to demonstrate the value of public transit and reject the proposed funding changes. (Recess ends April 21 for the Senate and April 24 for the House.) APTA’s ready-to-use “First 100 Days” toolkit features resources to facilitate these visits, including backgrounders, talking points, customizable invitations and other material.

The proposed cuts to the Capital Investment Grants (CIG) and TIGER grants programs put more than 50 projects in 23 states at risk, a message APTA delivered directly to affected members of Congress. As a result, more than 100 members of Congress have written letters in support of CIG funding as part of the annual appropriations process.

Other recent activities include the following:

    APTA is running radio ads in three regions with projects that would be shut down if the cuts occur. A generic version of the ad is included in APTA's toolkit of resources focused on the first 100 days of President Trump's term and the 115th Congress.

    APTA signed on to letters to the leaders of the House and Senate Budget Committees—Reps. Diane Black (R-TN) and John Yarmuth (D-KY) and Sens. Mike Enzi (R-WY) and Bernie Sanders (I-VT)—regarding the need to address the shortfall in the Highway Trust Fund with a long-term solution and fully fund all FAST Act programs, including CIGs.

    APTA sent a letter to the leaders of the House and Senate Appropriations Committees—Reps. Rodney Frelinghuysen (R-NJ) and Nita Lowey (D-NY) and Sens. Thad Cochran (R-MS) and Patrick Leahy (D-VT)—calling for funding of two new FAST Act programs: rail safety grants and rail maintenance grants.

    Voices for Public Transit, a grassroots organization APTA supports, reported that its community advocates have sent more than 5,000 letters to members of Congress opposing Trump’s FY 2018 proposal. (Find details here.)

In addition, APTA is working with the news media to highlight the potential impact of the cuts. See “In the Media” below.

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Dozens of educational and networking experiences are on the schedule at the APTA Bus & Paratransit Conference, May 7-10 in Reno, NV, along with more than 80 exhibitors participating in the May 9 Products & Services Showcase. Be part of the event by registering here.


Fighting for Transit: APTA is highly engaged with the national news media, sounding the alarm about the potentially damaging impact of proposed cuts to public transit. These two recent news stories from the New York Times tell part of the story: "Trump Budget Leaves New York-Area Transit Projects Up in the Air" and "Trump Cuts Leave Bridge and Rail Projects Hanging." The Times also published an editorial on this topic.

"Aging, Congested and So Vital”: The Associated Press reports on recent infrastructure failures as examples of the urgent need to fix America’s aging infrastructure.

Transit on Its Toes: In a campaign promoting the Toronto Transit Commission’s subway and streetcar fleets dubbed “the world’s most elegant,” dancers with the National Ballet of Canada pirouette their way through cars and stations in a 1:32 video titled “We Move You.”


“This is the most urgent infrastructure project in America. It can’t go forward without the federal commitment. It can’t. This is completely in jeopardy.”

--John D. Porcari, current head of the Gateway Project, a $24 billion project to double the capacity of trains on the Northeast Corridor, quoted in a report by NBC Nightly News, April 9, 2017.

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