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2025 Presidential Transition Project

The definition of “mobility” continues to evolve dramatically with the rise of new multimodal concepts, traveler needs, and emerging capabilities. These fundamental changes in the way transportation services are offered also influence the form of our communities.

New micromobility solutions, ridesharing, and a possible future that includes autonomous vehicles mean that mobility options—particularly in urban areas—can alter the nature of public transit, making it more affordable and flexible for Americans. Unfortunately, DOT now defines public transit only as transit pro vided by municipal governments. This means that when individuals change their commutes from urban buses to rideshare or electric scooter, the use of public transit decreases. A better definition for public transit (which also would require congressional legislation) would be transit provided for the public rather than transit provided by a public municipality.

The COVID-19 pandemic caused a substantial decline in usage for all forms of  transportation. Mass transit has been the slowest mode to recover, with Oct  has caused changes in commuting patterns. Since facilitating travel for workers is one of the core functions of mass transit systems, a permanent reduction in commuting raises questions about the viability of fixed-route mass transit, especially considering that transit systems required substantial subsidization before the pandemic.

Regrettably, the 2021 Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act13 authorized tens of billions of dollars for the expansion of transit systems even as Americans were moving away from them and into personal vehicles. Lower revenue from reduced ridership is already driving transit agencies to a budgetary breaking point, and added operational costs from system expansions will make this problem worse.

The Capital Investment Grants (CIG) program is another example of Washington’s tendency to fund transit expansion rather than maintaining or improving current facilities. The CIG program, which began in 1991, funds only novel transit projects. These can include new rail lines (regardless of the demand for preexisting rail in the area) and costly operations such as streetcars.

Because Americans have demonstrated a strong preference for alternative means of transportation, rather than throwing good money after bad by continuing federal subsidies for transit expansion, there should be a focus on reducing costs that make transit uneconomical. The Trump Administration urged Congress to eliminate the CIG program, but the program has strong support on Capitol Hill. At a minimum, a new conservative Administration should ensure that each CIG project meets sound economic standards and a rigorous cost-benefit analysis.

The largest expense in transit operational budgets is labor. Compensation costs or transit workers exceed both regional and sector compensation averages. This s driven by generous pension and health benefits rather than by exorbitant wages. Since workers value wages more than they value fringe benefits, this has led to a perverse situation in which transit agencies have high compensation costs yet are struggling to attract workers.

The next Administration can remove the largest obstacle to reforming labor costs. Section 10(c) of the Urban Mass Transportation Act of 196414 was initially intended to protect bargaining rights for workers in privately owned transit systems that were being absorbed by government-operated agencies. The provision has mutated into a requirement that any transit agency receiving federal funds cannot reduce compensation, an interpretation that far exceeds the original statute. Returning to the original intent would allow transit agencies to adjust fringe benefits without fearing a federal lawsuit.

It is also vital to move away from using the Highway Trust Fund to prop up mass transit. The fund was driven into insolvency (and repeated bailouts) through decades of transfers to transit without any increase in transit usage to show for it. With the federal government facing mounting debt, the best course of action would be to remove federal subsidies for transit spending, allowing states and localities to decide whether mass transit is a good investment for them

We Ride and We Vote
Citizens Taking Action
for transit dependent riders
Press Release November 28, 2023
Citizens Taking Action for transit dependent riders                                   Send Comments to:
Charles Paidock, Secretary, (312) 842-5036 office, 714-7790 cell  
Kevin Peterson (773) 896-8126

Trump's Announced Project 2025 if re-elected, Please Note: You will need to copy and paste this link

Copy of Complete Plan, Please Note:  You will need to copy and paste this link for the pdf

Trump is opposed to "transit provided by a public municipality"

Says Commuters have changed from using urban buses to electric scooters

Transit Advocates concerned by Trump Plan if Re-elected that
 Questions the Validity of having Any Fixed-route Mass Transit

Public transit advocates in the organization Citizens Taking Action were somewhat alarmed to discover that Donald Trump's recently released plans, if re-elected, questioned the validity of having any fixed-route mass transit, and would end what it says is "throwing good money after bad by continuing federal subsidies for transit expansion."  The plan goes further and maintains that "the best course of action would be to remove federal subsidies for transit spending, allowing states and localities to decide whether mass transit is a good investment for them."

The plan also states that the use of public transit has decreased, will never reach pre-pandemic levels of use, and individuals have changed their commutes from urban buses to other modes like rideshare (e.g., Uber and Lyft), or electric scooters.  As a result of this view Trump is opposed to the expansion of transit systems, and believes that the added operational costs from system expansions will make any current revenue problems worse.

Trump maintains that much infrastructure could be funded through public–private partnerships (P3s), through either the sale altogether or lease over decades of municipally owned property, such as a commuter or elevated rail line, or bus routes emanating from a certain barn.

Charles Paidock, Secretary of the advocacy group, said that "Trump needs to realize that there are over a half-million daily passengers using our three metropolitan transit systems during peak periods to get to and from work, or school. Many of the working poor cannot afford a private auto, or pay for parking, such as in the loop, and congestion issues will get even worse if we cut back on services. Transportation is the number one source of greenhouse gases, and public transit of course counters climate change.  What is needed per our studies of Chicago are increased off peak operations, such as late evening or at night, and on weekends.  I don't think putting a cap on public transit in the region is going to enable this."