FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
BALTIMORE, MD (December 14, 2020) –The Maryland Department of Transportation Maryland Transit Administration (MDOT MTA) will join transit agencies and industry partners across the United States on Tuesday, December 15, to lobby collectively to #SavePublicTransit with a day of engagement organized by the American Public Transportation Association (APTA). Over the last several months, MDOT MTA has advocated for federal assistance for transit to help combat the impact of the COVID-19 emergency, and has participated in three other industry-wide calls for action.
“The COVID-19 health emergency has demonstrated how critical transit is to the Baltimore region. It is a lifeline for the essential workers we have all relied on throughout this crisis,” said MDOT MTA Administrator Kevin Quinn. “It is imperative that we receive quick, federal relief to address our significant budget shortfall and keep our services running without interruption.”
Save Public Transit Day will shine the light on the financial crisis facing the public transportation industry and urge federal officials to take action. Transit agencies, advocacy groups, industry partners and others will speak out about transit needs and take part in a social media campaign – with the hashtag #SavePublicTransit – to encourage support for transit.
The financial impact created by the unprecedented decline of transportation revenues due to the COVID-19 emergency has created unparalleled challenges for MDOT MTA and transit agencies across the country. APTA and MDOT MTA believe federal funding support is essential to support transit service and reduce the pandemic’s impact on vulnerable communities and essential workers who rely on transit.
While the $392 million funding from Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act has been critical to maintaining service for essential employees throughout COVID-19, MDOT MTA fully expended these funds in September. Participants in Save Public Transit Day are calling on Congress to act on emergency funding for public transit before recessing for the holiday. The industry is seeking at least $32 billion in emergency funding to ensure public transit agencies can survive and help communities and the nation recover from the economic fallout of the pandemic. Without emergency federal, MDOT MTA would struggle to provide the services necessary to keep the region moving.
“Immediate action needs to be taken to address the public transportation industry’s dire financial situation so that we can continue to serve essential employees every day and can help with the nation’s economic recovery,” said APTA President and CEO Paul P. Skoutelas. “The industry’s very survival is at stake.”
MDOT MTA is one of the largest multi-modal transit systems in the United States. MDOT MTA operates LocalLink and commuter buses, Light RailLink, Metro SubwayLink, Maryland Area Regional Commuter (MARC) Train service and a comprehensive Mobility (paratransit) system. MDOT MTA’s goal is to provide safe, efficient and reliable transit across Maryland with world-class customer service. To learn more, visit mdot.maryland.gov or mta.maryland.gov, check us out on Facebook at facebook.com/mtamaryland and follow us on Twitter @mtamaryland.