Republican Platform Could Be 'Catastrophic' For Public Transit | WGLT

Republican Platform Could Be 'Catastrophic' For Public Transit

Jul 27, 2016

Credit Connect Transit

Connect Transit General Manager Andrew Johnson is speaking out against the 2016 Republican Platform released last week at the Republican National Convention. The document calls for the removal of Highway Trust Fund money from public transit systems such as Connect Transit in Bloomington-Normal.

Johnson said such a move could be "catastrophic." He said it would prevent the federal government from helping people get to work, get to school, go shopping, and do what they need to do through local public transit.

"Hundreds of public transportation systems and the communities they serve can point to the huge impact that public transportation has on the national economy and the lives of everyone in all of those communities," he said.

Johnson said he is concerned about what the removal of federal funds would do to public transit. However, he said that continued efforts to talk about the economic benefits of public transit may keep proposals at bay.

"At the same time I feel, through education and continued advocacy, Congress and the executive branch will come to the conclusion that it is a worthwhile investment and needs to continue," he added."

The platform was condemned by the American Public Transportation Association last week in a press release stating that the removal of funds would be "devastating, not only to the millions of Americans who use public transportation and to the employers who depend on it for their employees, but also for communities of allsizes that need it for a thriving economy and quality of life."