Transit Union says robust investment in transportation and modernizing U.S. infrastructure are necessary to Building Back Better, urges Congress to pass the bill
Silver Spring, MD – With $85 billion for transportation, the Amalgamated Transit Union (ATU), the largest transit union in the U.S. and Canada, applauded President Biden’s comprehensive $2 trillion infrastructure and jobs proposal, the American Jobs Plan, unveiled today in Pittsburgh, PA.
For years, the ATU has been pushing for robust investment at a federal and state level in our nation’s transit systems and crumbling infrastructure. The pandemic has heightened that need and with President Biden in office and Pete Buttigieg as Secretary of Transportation, now is the time to make it happen.
“Working people, including our frontline hero members, continue to bear the brunt of this unprecedented pandemic economically and emotionally. Our union has lost more than 140 brothers and sisters to this deadly virus. As our nation continues to recover, safe, affordable, and accessible public transit for all will play a critical role in keeping our communities and economies moving as it has throughout this crisis,” said International President John Costa. “While the American Rescue Plan provided a boost for struggling transit systems, this much-needed funding to modernize and improve our nation’s transportation systems and infrastructure is long overdue. We applaud President Biden for taking bold action early on in his administration to keep his promise to the American people to create good, union jobs and build back better.”
The infrastructure bill is expected to create approximately 2.3 million jobs by 2024 and help refuel the economy after being devastated by the pandemic.
The bill also includes a massive $174 billion investment in vehicle electrification with the intention of swapping out 50,000 diesel-powered transit vehicles and electrifying at least 20 percent of school buses.
“As we head into the future, our members’ voices and jobs will need to be at the forefront as advances in battery-powered electric buses become a reality to create a cleaner, greener planet,” said Costa. “We must ensure adequate training, so our ATU members are ready to take on this new challenge of helping to electrify our transit systems.”
To help pay for the bill President Biden, who campaigned on a platform of aggressive tax hikes for big business and the ultra-wealthy, will in part raise the corporate tax rate and encourage domestic manufacturing by making it expensive for American companies to take their businesses overseas.
Costa called on Congress to take immediate action on this critical legislation. “The American Jobs Plan recognizes the needed investment in our cities and workers, and the critical role public transit plays as we continue on the road of recovery and beyond,” Costa continued. “We urge Congress to take immediate action to pass this bill for a stronger, more just economy for all.”