Public Transit Heads: Invest More in Infrastructure

The heads of public transportation systems of all sizes today advocated for increased infrastructure investment.

The Federal Transit Administration (FTA) cited an $86 billion backlog in deferred maintenance and replacement needs with more than 40 percent of buses and 25 percent of rail transit assets in marginal or poor condition, according to the latest data from 2013. At the same time, with ridership increasing by 37 percent since 1995, public transit systems are challenged to increase service and capacity.

“After decades of inadequate investment, the American public transportation infrastructure is crumbling,” American Public Transportation Association (APTA) Chair Valarie J. McCall, who serves on the board of the Greater Cleveland Regional Transit Authority (GCRTA), said in a news release. “This neglect demands attention at all levels of government so that public transit can continue to help grow communities and businesses.”

The call for more spending came during this year’s National Infrastructure Week (NIW), held May 16-23.

“Since 2011, Chicago under the leadership of Mayor Rahm Emanuel has made unprecedented levels of investment in the CTA – from new and expanded rail stations to fleet modernization,” Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) President Dorval Carter said in a news release. “But while we’ve made great strides, continued support at the federal level is critical in bringing all of CTA’s aging infrastructure into the 21st century.”