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“Public transit riders and advocates rallied across the country to call for safe and reliable public transportation. Here in Massachusetts, supporters gathered in Springfield, Fall River, Worcester, and Boston to send the message to Congress: Don’t X Out Public Transportation.
These rallies were part of a national rally day, coordinated by the Amalgamated Transit Union and Transportation for America, to highlight the damaging impact of transportation funding cuts in communities across the country.
Last week, Congress agreed to a short-term extension of current transportation funding levels; but in just six months, Congress will have to vote on a new six-year transportation bill. We can’t afford to put public transportation on the chopping block. But U.S. House Transportation Infrastructure Committee Chair John Mica has proposed cutting federal transportation levels by over 30-percent.
MASSPIRG applauds efforts by regional transit authorities across the Bay State that raise public awareness about federal funding cuts. Any cut to federal transportation spending would result in reduced service, just at a time when we need to be expanding service.
“Bus Riders United,” a new organization in Fall River dedicated to improving transit in the region, delivered thousands of petitions to Fall River Mayor Flanagan to show support for expanding service after 6pm and on Sundays.
Hopefully, Congress is listening. Any cut to transportation funding is likely to have a significant impact on the amount of money spent on public transit. Without well-funded buses and trains, people throughout Massachusetts are left without options. Bay Staters can’t get to our jobs, to the store, to the hospital, or to school. We will continue breathing dirty air, sitting in traffic, and spending our tax dollars unwisely. This is unacceptable. Now is the time for Congress to increase investments in public transportation and stop leaving us stranded.“
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