House Approves Transportation, Housing Measure

AP – The GOP-controlled House on Tuesday passed a huge bill providing money for transportation and housing programs despite protests from Democrats that the $105 billion measure shortchanges transit projects, Amtrak and rent subsidies for the poor.

The House passed the bill on a 229-192 vote, capping a busy day as lawmakers worked their way through the annual spending bills funding line-by-line agency budgets. It came hours after the Democratic-led Senate Appropriations Committee unveiled a $158 billion measure funding the departments of Labor, Health and Human …

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Transit is for everyone and needs greater support says Birmingham official

AL.com – How can Birmingham and Jefferson County find the money and support to create a bigger, better transit system?

In part, area residents and community leaders must realize that public transit affects everyone, according to Henry Ikwut-Ukwa, manager of planning and development for the Birmingham-Jefferson County Transit Authority.

“We have to challenge the notion that transit is not for everybody,” Ikwut-Ukwa said Thursday. “Once we get that going, we can get everybody to contribute.”

Ikwut-Ukwa made these remarks while taking part in a panel discussion regarding public …

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Transit Workers & Riders Applaud Bipartisan Bill to Modernize Voting Rights Act

Transit Workers & Riders Applaud Bipartisan Bill to Modernize Voting Rights Act

Common sense legislation protects voting rights of minorities, transit riders, all people
Media Contact: David Roscow, 202-537-1645 x254

Washington, DC – The Amalgamated Transit Union (ATU) and Americans for Transit (A4T) released the following statement in response to the introduction of the “Voting Rights Amendment Act of 2014:

“We applaud the introduction of this bipartisan legislation that will provide vital protections for all voters against discrimination at the ballot box and ensure every American their right to vote.
“We commend Representatives John Lewis (D-GA), Bobby Scott (D-VA), …

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What went down in Pennsylvania Legislature this year for transportation?

What went down in Pennsylvania Legislature this year for transportation?

The following post is a guest blog from Breen Masciotra, the regional outreach manager for the Pittsburgh Community Reinvestment Group, working on its GoBurgh transit initiative in support of transit funding and transit oriented development. While GoBurgh convened the transit advocacy coalition, its success is attributed to all coalition members. 

Pennsylvania’s transportation funding was effectively updated, most recently, in 1997. Ten years later, the state legislature took up the issue and passed Act 44 of 2007, which was intended to meet transportation funding needs. However, Act 44 depended …

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Another negative impact of long commutes

Another negative impact of long commutes

We already know that long commutes cause…

Obesity

And divorce

and unhappiness.

Well today we have another negative impact to add to the list. NPR reports that long commutes negatively impact people’s political engagement. The theory is that after long commutes people are so exhausted and beat down from the slog to work that their ability to engage their community politically and be politically active dramatically decreases . To add insult to injury, research shows this concerning impact only affects low income commuters.

INSKEEP: Are all people affected the same way …

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#Transitvote 2013 Update

#Transitvote 2013 Update

Wow! What a night for public transit across the country.

Yesterday we previewed the election, today here are your results. According to CFTE’s tracking website transit went 6/7 last night with transit ballots across the country. Congrats to all of the riders, agencies, labor unions, and advocates who worked hard on the these ballot measures to get them passed. Last night reaffirms that Americans in all types of communities want and will pay for more public transit. Many of last night’s ballots were in small towns …

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#Transitvote 2013

#Transitvote 2013

Today is election day in the US. It may be an off year election, but please use your political power and go vote. If you’re reading this blog, you probably already do. Regardless, check out this great piece on the topic from Eric Liu.

With another election, comes another round of transit ballot elections across the country. This year’s bout of transit measures is much less active than last November during the presidential. There are no major metros going to the ballot this November, but there …

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Congressmen from Texas Takes his Town Halls onto the Bus

Congressmen from Texas Takes his Town Halls onto the Bus

Congress is not known for great ideas as of late, but there are some good ideas coming out of Congress.

A few weeks ago I had the pleasure of meeting Congressmen Beto O’Rourke. He is a freshmen Democrat from the border town of El Paso, Texas. He’s tall, was voted as the 22nd most beautiful person on the hill this year by the Washington Post, is fluent in Spanish, an ardent supporter of smart growth and public transit, and carries and friendly smile everywhere he goes.

Upon …

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A Bus Free Downtown?

A Bus Free Downtown?

Streetsblog reports that future Pittsburgh Mayor and smart growth champion Bill Peduto is backing an idea to remove buses entirely from Downtown Pittsburgh. As Streetsblog points out the rationale is to make Pittsburgh more pedestrian friendly and car-free. But this raises concerns around downtown interests wanting to shove often times lower-income transit riders outside of the downtown. Additionally, what would the impacts of this move be for mobility limited riders. A three block walk may not be a big deal for a 25 year old in July, …

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Transit Initiatives and Communities Recap

Transit Initiatives and Communities Recap

The Center for Transportation Excellence’s Transit Initiatives and Communities Conference was held recently in Atlanta. Americans for Transit also partnered with CFTE to put on a half-day pre-conference grassroots transit organizers peer training session.

There were a lot of great stories and tactics shared, lessons learned, and connections made both on Sunday and throughout the entire conference. Move LA has a nice wrap up of some of the major policy takeaways from the main portion of the conference. It includes a discussion of transit finance, the state …

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