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Federal and State Governments Attack Local Transportation Funds

In the federal government’s latest attack on local control, Republican Representative Rob Woodall recently introduced—and passed—and amendment that makes it harder for cities and towns to build transportation infrastructure.

Woodall’s Amendment allows states to rescind unobligated transportation funding from local governments.

Why’s this matter? Because local municipalities are granted a certain portion of funds for transportation projects—and building infrastructure can take time. Not allowing state governments to rescind local funds, as noted by the League of American Bicyclists, “allows local governments to plan for transportation projects over the long term based on the funding Congress designated for them.”

No guarantee to keep the funding makes it harder for local municipalities to plan out and build out multi-year projects.

The amendment in the federal government comes at a time when the Pennsylvania state government is on the warpath against transportation funding, including a massive cut to SEPTA.

As noted by the Inquirer this morning, via Curbed,

A new budget proposal set forth this week by Pennsylvania House Republicans could seriously effect SEPTA service and raise fares significantly, according to SEPTA officials.

The proposal would force SEPTA to cut its service by 40 percent and raise fares by 20 percent. Some 500 employees would also potentially have to be laid off.

The Inquirer reported that the proposal, announced on Wednesday, would generate $2.4 billion by using money from special funds that cover a variety of services, including $357 million from public transportation. But SEPTA receives 65 percent of that funding.

Such losses would cut services, routes, expanded weekend services, and jobs.

We asked you to take action on that issue earlier this week. And we’re continuing to work with the Keystone Transportation Funding Coalition to monitor this issue. We joined dozens of organizations earlier this week to send a message to the state government.

If you haven’t sent your state representative a message yet, please do so today. You can click here to find and email your local state legislator.

As far as the Woodall Amendment goes, check out the League of American Bicyclists’ Action Alert here.

Rails to Trails Conservancy also has an action alert since, of course, Woodall’s amendment is a monstrous attack on the country’s ability to build out it bike trail system. Click here to use Rails to Trails’ campaign system to send a message.

Topics: Action Center, Featured, The Circuit

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