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Reps. Lipinski and Comstock Will Co-Chair Public Transportation Caucus for the 114th Congress (May 21, 2015)

Congressman Dan Lipinski (IL-3) and Congresswoman Barbara Comstock (VA-10) will serve as co-chairs for the Public Transportation Caucus for the 114th Congress (2015-16).  The Caucus will address issues facing the country’s public transportation systems, including rail, light rail, bus rapid transit, and traditional bus service.  This bipartisan group will provide a forum for members of Congress to engage in constructive dialogue on the challenges and needs of mass transit agencies across the country as increasing demand and decreasing funding are putting unprecedented pressure on America’s public transportation systems.

“Public transportation is vital to people from all walks of life in communities across northeastern Illinois and all across America,” said Rep. Lipinski, who sits on the House Transportation & Infrastructure Committee.  “In the region, public transit provides nearly two million rides per day.  Buses, trains, and light rail that run safely and reliably reduce congestion on our roads, improve travel times across all modes, cut down on air pollution, and make our communities more attractive places to live, work, and own businesses.  Advancing transit is not just good for the region, it’s good for the whole country.  Maintaining and improving our public transportation systems must be a part of the solution to creating jobs at home and ensuring our competitiveness in the global marketplace.”  

“We are all aware of the important role safe and efficient public transportation plays in the United States,” said Rep. Comstock.  “Transportation is the lifeblood of our country’s economy and dollars spent on public transportation generate a significant economic return in the form of mobility, downstream investments, job creation, and increases in property value.  Additionally, transit helps mitigate the high economic costs to people and industry associated with traffic congestion - a very big concern for my constituents in Virginia’s 10th Congressional District.  This Caucus plans on implementing an inclusive, comprehensive approach because it is not just commuters and those in rural areas without cars who rely on transit, but also their employers who need a reliable and affordable transport option for their employees and yield maximum productivity for our country’s economy.”

Public transportation faces many serious challenges.  Significant funding is needed to maintain state-of-good repair, continue current service, and expand service options to meet growing demand.  These needs will put significant pressure on these systems and must be thoughtfully addressed.  The Caucus will explore and coordinate sound policy approaches to these challenges.