State Legislators Urge Pelosi To Put More Transit Money in Stimulus

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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