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Statement: House bill aims to expand public transit service nationwide

Proposed grant program would ramp up public transit frequency and availability
For Immediate Release

WASHINGTON -- In an effort to improve public transit service for riders across the country,, Rep. Hank Johnson of Georgia introduced a bill Tuesday that would  put billions of federal dollars toward local transit operations. This bill, titled “Stronger Communities through Better Transit Act,” creates a new $20 billion grant program designed to increase the frequency and hours of public transit service nationwide.

In response, Lisa Frank, Environment America’s Washington Legislative Office executive director, released the following statement:

“Global warming is the most important challenge of our time and it needs to be taken into consideration for every decision that we make.. Transportation is now the largest source of greenhouse gas emissions in our country. We need a comprehensive approach to reducing transportation's impact on the global climate crisis.

While the adoption of electric vehicles will be crucial to our success, we need to go beyond simply putting a battery in all of our personal cars if we are going to transform our country’s transportation system. To do this, we need to reduce the need to drive by expanding and electrifying public transit service so that the easiest, cheapest and most pleasant ways to travel are also the healthiest and most sustainable.

Matt Casale, U.S. PIRG environment campaigns director, issued the following statement:

“Public transit is critical to America’s long-term recovery; we need to transform our country’s transportation to clean up our air, protect our climate and make transit service work better for everyone. We thank Representative Johnson for working to support our nation’s transit agencies, both rural and urban.

Over the last year and a half, public transit has served as a lifeline for millions of Americans, including essential workers, who have worked tirelessly to keep our country going through the COVID-19 pandemic.

As we emerge from this health crisis, we’re seeing a return to the transportation status quo, which means dangerous and polluting vehicles clogging up our streets. By investing in public transit, we can begin to reduce air pollution and improve quality of life for millions of Americans by shifting away from car-centered transportation. We need to bring our public transit system into the 21st century to achieve our country’s bold new climate goals.” 

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