State Legislators Urge Pelosi To Put More Transit Money in Stimulus


A group of eighteen Assembly members, including Assemblymen Tom Ammiano of San Francisco and Alberto Torrico of Newark, have sent a letter to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi urging more stimulus money for public transit, suggesting the change be made during the markup process before the bill is voted on by the Senate next week.

We are
writing to ask you to consider increasing the investment in
public transit and allowing greater flexibility in using funds to support
transit operations.  Public transit
is vital for metropolitan areas and surrounding communities and there is no
better time than now to invest in the nation’s transit
systems. An increasing
number of people depend on mass transit in their everyday lives to get to their
places of employment, to take their children to school or childcare, and to
shop for food and other necessities.  Additionally, expanding public transit
represents a crucial step for addressing global warming and improves mobility
without sacrificing air quality.

Ammiano, who was a regular 14 Mission rider as supervisor and now occasionally takes the Capitol Corridor to Sacramento, said he hasn’t had any private conversations with Pelosi but felt it was necessary to write her and weigh in.

"There’s only so much to go around and that probably accounts for the amount that was put in there," he said.

As it stands, public transit is getting only $12 billion. Ammiano hopes Pelosi will do more when the re-authorization of the Transportation Equity Act is taken up.

Flickr photo: Octoferret

  • thank GOD someone finally said something…and yay Tom Ammiano 🙂

  • Zig

    I’d like to see more consideration for inner city rail as well. The Surfliner between SLO and SD is one of the busiest in the US yet in many stretches it can only travel at 50mi/hr because of old infrastructure and single tracking.

    There is also a desire to revive the Coast Daylight service LA to SF on the coast but it takes funding.

    I am sure this is true of medium distance corridors all over the US.

    Someone was telling me recently there is no reliable service between their home in Davenport Iowa and Chicago.

  • If the City got federal stimulus for transit operations, then we could stabilize transit fares and service levels and shift some of that general fund money over to stabilize public health.



Senate Stimulus Action Leaves the Network Cold

Last week, the Streetsblog Network was tentatively hopeful about the way the stimulus package was shaping up in the House, as members of that body voted to approve an amendment from Rep. Jerrold Nadler, D-NY, to add $3 billion for transit. How long will transit riders have to wait for some help? Photo by Oran […]

LaHood Reaches Out to Transit Industry, Lamenting ‘Lousy Economy’

Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood sought to commiserate with the cash-strapped transit industry today, declaring the Obama administration an ally of local rail and bus agencies even as the "lousy economy" clouds prospects for passage of a new long-term federal transportation bill. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood (Photo: Getty Images) In an address to the American Public […]

Two Action Alerts to Improve Stimulus Package for Transit Today

Which one gets the stimulus money? NACTO Action Alert We’ve all been disappointed with the tiny margin of transit funding in the $825 billion Obama stimulus package, what amounts to only 1% of the total, despite the fact that 80% of us live in metropolitan regions and transit ridership is booming.  Meanwhile highway expansion and […]

Making the Connections on Stimulus Spending

Lots of news from the Streetsblog Network today, some good and some not so good. Design New Haven has a thought-provoking piece about a recent argument from the Congress for the New Urbanism on how to target stimulus funding : According to the CNU, priority stimulus funding should be given to projects that enhance connectivity […]

Killing the Myth of the ‘More Shovel-Ready’ Road Stimulus

During debate over the White House’s $787 billion economic stimulus law, transit advocates watched as their projects were shortchanged and more "shovel-ready" road projects got the lion’s share of the transport pot — about $8.4 billion, compared with $26.5 billion for highways and bridges. (Photo: DMI Blog) But transit money is getting put to use […]