Members of the American Public Transportation Association (APTA) gathered on a conference call Wednesday to discuss a move by Congress to possibly cut $25 billion in dedicated gas tax revenues from mass transit.
The House Ways and Means Committee voted last week to divert money from the dedicated fuel tax revenues to transit systems. Members of APTA called the move a “short-sighted proposal.”
In a press release, APTA said the change would “erode credit ratings” and increase the cost for transit systems and local governments.
About 20 percent of revenue that goes to the Highway Trust Fund comes from federal gas taxes and funds mass transit. That money could be redirected to pay for roads and bridges. It would leave mass transit to get funding from the general fund and later from an annual appropriation.
Metro received $228 million last year from the formula funded gas tax revenue.
Federal Transit Administrator Peter M. Rogoff called the the House majority’s plan “a huge step backward from a balanced transportation policy” in an e-mailed statement.
He noted that the bill “takes away billions of dollars that have already been collected solely for mass transit, impacting every American that rides a bus, or a train, or uses a paratransit van to get to work, school, or medical appointments each day.”
Rogoff raised concerns that “all future federal transit funding” would be subject to “partisan, controversial and unworkable funding schemes.”
Among those participating in Wednesday’s call for APTA were Michael Melaniphy of the American Public Transportation Association, Gary Thomas of the Dallas Area Rapid Transit, Janet Kavinoky of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, William Ankner, former secretary of Transportation and Development in Louisiana, and Patrick Scully, chief commercial officer for Daimler Buses.
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