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Congress must fast-track transit and active transportation investments in pandemic response
Today, a coalition of transportation groups sent a letter to congressional leadership outlining four recommendations for how the federal government can fast-track transit and active transportation projects amid the COVID-19 crisis devastating cities and people across America.
With a focus on how Congress can empower cities to provide safe, equitable, and healthy transportation options during the pandemic and beyond, the recommendations call for:
Renewed investment in public transit to keep transit agencies afloat;
Continued investment in bicycle and pedestrian facilities through the Surface Transportation Block Grant and Transportation Alternatives programs;
The leveling of several procedural hurdles that have historically slowed these sorts of projects;
A focus on innovative solutions in transportation to help cities incentivize sustainable transportation options as the public begins to return to work. These include investments in bikesharing as a redundancy to public transit and subsidization of transit passes for low-income individuals during the recovery.
"The League of American Bicyclists and our partners are asking Congress to prioritize people and our need for safe, healthy, sustainable transportation options as part of the pandemic recovery efforts," said Bill Nesper, executive director of the League of American Bicyclists. "The steps we've outlined would ensure reliable and equitable access to transit and that better biking and walking networks are core to building back better, post-pandemic."
"People all around the country are realizing how much public space is dedicated to cars and how little space we have made for actual people," said Beth Osborne, executive director of Transportation for America. "Especially as we steer through the COVID-19 pandemic, it is absolutely essential that people have space to move around outside while still social distancing. We no longer have any excuses to fail to address these needs."
"Lyft is proud to stand with the League of American Bicyclists, Transportation for America and other leaders in advocating for investments in transit, bicycle, bikeshare, and pedestrian infrastructure," said Caroline Samponaro, Head of Micromobility Policy at Lyft. "We are eager to partner with policymakers at all levels to find sustainable, equitable solutions for the future of our cities."