November 06, 2015
RTS Urges Congress to Protect Transit Funding for Rochester
Rochester, NY: Regional Transit Service (RTS) is calling on Congress to remove a provision from the Surface Transportation Bill passed this week by the House of Representatives that would eliminate a program that provides critical federal funding. The 5340 High Density States Program provides transit funding to the seven Northeastern states, including New York, that provide half of all public transportation in the United States.
“The elimination of this program would be devastating to our ability to maintain the level of service currently provided by RTS,” said Bill Carpenter, CEO of RTS. “If this provision is included in the final bill it will result in a 24 percent reduction in the amount of federal transit funding we receive, totaling $17 million from this program over the next six years. Without this being reversed we would face drastic service reductions and a smaller bus fleet. We have constant requests for more service that would be turned away. I urge Congress to do the right thing and ensure these funds are protected.”
Community leaders such as Mayor Lovely Warren and RBA President and CEO Bob Duffy have offered their support to RTS in this effort.
“Public transportation is critically important to our most vulnerable citizens,” said Mayor Lovely Warren. “Rochester has among the highest poverty levels in the nation, so many of our citizens are completely reliant on public transportation to get to work, school and other important destinations. That’s why transportation funding is a crucial component of our efforts to provide more jobs, safer and more vibrant neighborhoods, and better educational opportunities for our citizens.”
“The potential for a $17 million cut in federal funding to Regional Transit Service poses a significant workforce development and economic development challenge to the Rochester and Finger Lakes region,” said Rochester Business Alliance President & CEO Bob Duffy. “Those working to lift themselves from poverty and support their families rely upon flexible, affordable transportation to get to their workplaces. RBA/the Greater Rochester Chamber of Commerce has also received feedback from employers including call centers and manufacturers that have a difficult time getting qualified talent to their facilities. A funding cut limits the ability for RTS to add routes and provide transportation critical to our region’s future economic success.”
RTS plays an important role in the Rochester region, connecting its customers to jobs, education, medical services, shopping and recreational activities.
For additional information about RTS, please visit www.myRTS.com.
Regional Transit Service (RTS) is a regional transit authority established by New York State with more than 900 employees who proudly serve customers and business partners in Monroe, Genesee, Livingston, Ontario, Orleans, Seneca, Wayne and Wyoming counties. Recognized as one of the best-run transit systems in the nation, RTS provides safe, reliable and convenient public bus transportation to more than 18 million people each year. We carry out our mission by connecting our customers to jobs, school, healthcare, shopping and recreational activities every day. For more information, visit www.myRTS.com.
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