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Alberto Torrico

State Legislators Urge Pelosi To Put More Transit Money in Stimulus

12:30 PM PST on January 30, 2009

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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 arewriting to ask you to consider increasing the investment inpublic transit and allowing greater flexibility in using funds to supporttransit operations.  Public transitis vital for metropolitan areas and surrounding communities and there is nobetter time than now to invest in the nation’s transitsystems. An increasingnumber of people depend on mass transit in their everyday lives to get to theirplaces of employment, to take their children to school or childcare, and toshop for food and other necessities.  Additionally, expanding public transitrepresents a crucial step for addressing global warming and improves mobilitywithout 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

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