April 07, 2015
RTS will join with the Genesee Transportation Council, and local leaders and transportation partners to participate in the American Public Transportation Association’s (APTA) nationwide Stand Up 4 Transportation Day on Thursday, April 9. RTS CEO Bill Carpenter will be joined by Monroe County Executive Maggie Brooks, James D. Hoffman, Chairman of the Wayne County Board of Supervisors and Genesee Transportation Council, and representatives from the Rochester Cycling Alliance, Reconnect Rochester, and other organizations for a rally at the RTS Transit Center on Thursday, April 9 at 11 a.m.
Stand Up 4 Transportation Day seeks to call attention to the importance of investing in the infrastructure that supports our transport system—roads, bridges, ports and airports—and the need for a long-term surface transportation authorization bill. MAP-21, which is the existing federal surface transportation legislation, expires on May 31.
RTS CEO Carpenter said, “The federal government is the primary funder of capital transportation projects. We have not had a comprehensive transportation bill since 2005. As a result, America’s transportation infrastructure is falling behind, preventing us from repairing, strengthening and building new transportation infrastructure. Today, we have shovel-ready projects that are needed to improve safety, security, and efficiency for RTS bus operations. These include improvements to our main campus on East Main Street, the RTS Access campus in the town of Gates from which we serve our paratransit customers, and at our regional facilities. Our ability to move forward is dependent on government funding.”
"Investing our nation's infrastructure, including our public transit systems, is critical to our economy. The current lack of investment has led to crumbling roads and bridges, unsafe conditions on our transit networks, and has allowed new economic development opportunities to pass us by. I have been a vocal supporter of passing a long-term transportation bill that increases spending on these programs because it help each and every corner of New York State and our country,” said U.S. Sen. Charles E. Schumer.
“Funding public infrastructure is not always the exciting, high-profile activity that grabs headlines, but these projects are critical to the quality of life in any community,” said County Executive Maggie Brooks. “Counties and municipalities from across the country continue to be asked to do more with less, yet without a comprehensive funding bill it will be extremely difficult to plan any future investments in public infrastructure. A long-term federal commitment to our public infrastructure is a strong step in the right direction and one that will lead to job creation and increased economic development right here in Monroe County."
“Transportation infrastructure and services are the foundation of our economy and critical to a high quality of life for our residents,” said James D. Hoffman, Chairman of the Wayne County Board of Supervisors and Genesee Transportation Council. “The current level of federal transportation funding is insufficient to just maintain our twentieth century system much less build the twenty-first century one we need to compete in the global economy. Absent a change in priorities in our nation’s capital, all of our communities—from our largest cities to our rural towns—will suffer from lack of investment in needed mobility improvements for people and freight. In an environment with competing demands for limited resources we need to make replacing infrastructure a higher priority. Our challenge then is to find a way to fund what we need to do to be competitive in today's world."
APTA and local participants are encouraging those who support public transit and highway investment to sign a petition—located online and in print—which will be forwarded to Congress on April 10. Events have been organized in over 100 cities around the U.S.
Transportation advocates are also being asked to join in a Twitter amplification “Thunderclap,” which will send thousands of Tweets to representatives at noon, Thursday, April 9. Sample Tweets are available at APTA and should bear the hashtag #SU4T.
For more information about Stand Up for Transportation, go to www.apta.com/standup4transportation.
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