Harlem’s Espaillat Says Congress Must #SavePublicTransit, Lives Depend On It!

December 17, 2020

Today, Harlem Representative Adriano Espaillat urged congressional leaders to include funding for the MTA and transit agencies.

Around the nation in the fight to #SavePublicTransit as communities struggle to recover amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

Organized by the American Public Transportation Association (APTA), #SavePublicTransit Day is an effort to highlight the dire financial crisis facing the public transportation industry and urge officials to take immediate action.

“Since the start of the pandemic, the MTA has been essential in our efforts to combat this disease. New York City was able to overcome the first wave of the pandemic thanks to the MTA’s 75,000 employees and the continued operation of its subways, buses and railroads. The transit agency is essential in our fight to recover and I urge my colleagues to work to save the MTA and transit systems around the country,” said Rep. Espaillat.

It is critical that Congress move forward and provide emergency funding for public transit in the lame duck session before Congress recesses for the holiday.

The industry is calling on Congress and the Administration to provide at least $32 billion in emergency funding to ensure that public transit agencies can survive and help our communities and nation recover from the economic fallout of the pandemic.

Earlier this year, Congress provided $15 billion in aid to transit agencies in the CARES Act, and House Democrats have included larger sums in the HEROES Act, which has twice passed the House but sat dormant in the Republican-controlled Senate.

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The MTA received $4 billion from the CARES Act but still faces a daunting revenue shortfall.

“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.

First elected to Congress in 2016, Rep. Adriano Espaillat is serving his second term in Congress where he serves as a member of the influential U.S. House Foreign Affairs Committee, the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure, and the House Small Business Committee.

He serves as a Senior Whip of the House Democratic Caucus and is a member of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus (CHC) where he also serves in a leadership role as CHC Whip.

He is also chairman of the CHC Task Force for Transportation, Infrastructure and Housing. Rep. Espaillat’s Congressional District includes Harlem, East Harlem, northern Manhattan and the north-west Bronx.

To find out more about Rep. Espaillat, visit online at https://espaillat.house.gov/.

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