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tv   Hearing on Public Transportation Investment  CSPAN  March 18, 2022 5:55pm-7:38pm EDT

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[inaudible conversations] >> the committee on banking and urban affairs will come to order. welcome to the hearing. with generator and hybrid format and three hybrid format and three when this is to our virtual with the option to appear either in person or virtually. ohioans know how we left our infrastructure languish for far tooag long. president after president promised investment in sanctions -- and public transit.
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this congress failed and the previous president failed are the most important work we have done this congress is writing the most significant investment ever in public transit under the bipartisan infrastructure law. it's not just about the numbers it's about what the investment will do and how this will matter in people's lives. transit agencies can run more buses and trains in more neighborhoods. last year darryl haley testified in the first hearing and this is their first one since the bipartisan infrastructure bill passed. that's about one worker at a restaurant in suburban cincinnati. she had to spend her entire days paycheck on an uber to get to work because a regular bus didn't run on sundays and her employer said you have to show up to work on sunday. she couldn't risk that job in
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the bus didn't come when she needed it. it happened to her almost every single week in mode supplied that times hundreds of times thousands times tens of thousands of low-income workers. the infrastructure bill we can run buses on sunday and add routes and we can add stops. we will make it faster and easier for people who are to use public transportation to get to work. people who work long hard days on their feet too often have to take 45 minutes to a bus ticket home and their dog tired when they are trying to care for their families. this would open up new job opportunities that some limited by where the of the train runs and make buses subways and streetcars optional for the first time for millions of new riders did so many families feel the pain of high gas prices because of russia's attack on
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ukraine. they have no choice but to pay those high prices because they have to get to work. they have to get to school and they have to get to the grocery store. workers won't have to choose between paying for gas or making rent. it's going to break such a difference especially in so many communities thatia haven't had reliable transit. the black and brown communities have been cut off and rural workers were walking is not an option.r seniors it's a lifeline into the doctor to the grocery store and because the work we did on this committee not only will we run buses more often. they will be cleaner and newer and safer buses. one of our witnesses showed me some off those buses and columbs several months ago. we will getgo new state of the t zero-emission buses on the road to fight climate change in cleanup to air in our committees. demonstrations is accepting
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applications for the zero-emission bus grants. i've seen ohio agencies leading the country a and applying these pollution-free buses. over the coming year will see them in communities all over my state in georgia and all of the country. to make sure these workers get the training they need to work on these new buses. this committee and under this president workers will always a have a seat at the table. i want to thank the members of our committee who are working and republican ranking member to me and i don't see eye die-in many issues as we know. we were able to reach agreement toe reauthorize federal transit administration programs. we can both be proud that the largest metropolitan areas in our states and cities like cleveland and philadelphia can replace railcars that date back literally to the carter demonstrations. housing and transit committee for chair and ranking member
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sent senator rounds from south dakota did. work to r improve world transit. and making sure that historic 20% figure is met or exceeded and we see senator tester senator warner and senator sinema played a key role moving forward the bipartisan negotiations working with republican members in the bipartisan group is senator warner and senator ben holland thought to rather as funds for america's subway and match assistant senator ben holland legislation will put safety plans and give workers a stronger voice and safety matters and senators warnock and also help to with better planning and link transportation planning. i want to thank senator warren other members who continue to advocate for zero-emission
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buses. after the difficult pandemic the future public transit infrastructure is finally brighter. i will spend the coming is working with cities and townships and counties and villages in ohio to make sure the community knows all the opportunities to improve their transit today after meeting with national transit officials i met the transit leader and perry county southeast of columbus. they don't have the huge bus system that h they have a centrl transportation for people getting food and for people to get dialysis and people do want to go f to church that need the kinds of things in their lives that only public transit can help them do. many of my colleagues will do the same around the state and i look forward to hearing from witnesses on the job growth and job creation and economic growth in these new provisions willhi unleash. >> thank you mr. chairman a welcome to where witnesses.
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today's hearing is about the public transit component of the lauren thank you pointing out for the cooperative effort tooo engage down. there is a lot inor the bill. i don't agree with. asd, i've said repeatedly we shouldn't pay for infrastructure package by borrowing billions and billions of i more dollars. it authorizes so much new spending $118 billion had to be transferred from the treasures of general fund of the highway trust fund. supposed to pay for mass transit and highway construction withax gas tax and some of my democratic colleagues made the highway trust fund shortfall worse by extending the federal gas tasks. i would suggest if you want to help commuters and family suffering from inflation we start by reversing the
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demonstrations actions which keep us from using much of our own energy. that's infrastructure federal spending should be driven by an assessment of their regions -- the bipartisan infrastructure law seems to have been driven more by the political imperatives in the bill funnels bullens of dollars to the s private sector has been more than willing to fund it such as electric vehicle charging stations. transit was given 108 by $1 billion over a five-year t period. to put the number perspective it's twice the last surface transportation reauthorization. on top of the nearly $85 billion given to transit the vast majority can affect characterized as emergency spending to off cassette covid losses for one year. in fact nearly $85 billion in funding that the federal government gave to transit agencies exceeded the annual
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operating and capitol costs of all the transit agencies in the united states combined in 2019. at the time her democratic colleagues justify paying for more than 100% of the budget by saying that the transit systems would collapse. as20 we know state and local tax collections for the new record in 2020. despite an all-time record amount of revenue collected by state and local governments congress gave more than 800 teen billion dollars to state and local governments. worst billions of dollars will go to transit agencies facing ridership challenges while the for covid. reaching a high of 10.7 billion trips in 2014 transit riders have suddenly fallen. they'll be almost a%. the last two years saw an even steeper decline in partnership polling by over 70%.
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ridership i predict will never return to pre-pandemic levels for the agency leaders in new york pittsburgh washington d.c. have all said many of the writers won't return. so why give away more taxpayer money to agencies with fewer riders? the solution to ridership is fair and free ridership. would achieve social equity reduced operator --. as milton friedman help to publicize there's no such thing as a free lunch when my view of car owners pay a federal gas tax riders should have to pay nothing to contribute their fair share as of local communities. systems serve in city and the metropolitan area not the entire
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country. that is why congress has helped to pay for operating systems. if new york or washington d.c. cannot or will not pay for their transit systems why should federal taxpayers? and onee other issue and that's the rising rate of crime in the mass transit systems. having far fewer writers new york l.a. chicago philadelphia have all seen spikes and transit crime. there were 461 felony assault on new york's metropolitan transportation authority last year theye highest number since 1997. mta rioters are confronting hammer attack stabbings multiple people pushed onto subway tracks including in front of oncoming trains with one woman tragically killed in new york city's mayor of former says he doesn't feel safe on the subway. today we'll hear from two witnesses on the ongoing systemic challenges facing
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transit agencies that were not addressed in the bipartisan infrastructure bill. dr. directly should cramer's will testify we must address the palm's putting writer -- rider at risk. we have seen time and again stirred me sums of taxpayer money without serious reforms and transit systems remain tame the status quo. i look forward to hearing fromne our witnesses on the question does mass transit continued to make sense in every u.s. city? thank you mr. chairman space thinking senator toomey. joanne subeleven is ceo of the high transit authority serving the columbus region and a licensed professional engineer with a history of transportation
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legacy. ndshe joined in 2018. welcome. senator ossoff will introduce mr. greenwoodor and will have se comments later i believe. >> thank you mr. chairman and it's a pleasure to welcome mr. greenwood to the senate and the housing and urban affairs committee. i want to take a moment mr. chairman and acknowledged the tragic passing of the ceo and manager jeffrey parker who passed away this january. just championed accessible public transportation in the state of georgia. he created an expansive vision for transit in metro and leaves a tremendous legacy that will now continue and that jeff is no want with this his work in this
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division are sustained and alive with those and we will work togetherhe to realize as much of ituc as we can. and if i might mr. chairman on behalf of the senate to extend our condolences to thed whole family during this difficult time. following mr. parker's passing in january mr. greenwood was selected as ceo and general manager of with more than 30 years of experience in transit served as chief service officer at one of america's third-largest transit systems the toronto transit system overseeing bus rail and station services transit security and maintenance and in his role mr. greenwood will carry the torch forward from mr. parker to lead the largest most ambitious expansion and modernization programs with its founding over 40 years ago in the modernization w that would not e possible without this committee
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and your support mr. chairman so mr. greenwood will come toan the senate. >> thank you mr. chairman. >> thank you senator ossoff. he is the president president of the transportation trade department consisting of 36 unions that represent workers in no areas of transportation. he collaborates with affiliated unions in long-term investment transportation and works to make sure transportation jobs are safe and secure and connect them to young boys. doc or schulz is an adjunct fellow in the public safety initiative and professoror emeritus of john jake --. previously a senior fellow at the cato institute specializing in land use and transportation
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issues. ms. pinkerton please began and thank you for please began in thank you for joining us. simon thank you chair brown and members of the committee today. appreciate the opportunity to testify here on the enormous opportunities that we see in ohio under this bipartisan law. as previously mentioned that legislation represents a long-overdue commitment to repairing our transportation network and i believe repurposing them for future economy in ways we may not realize it. everything we are seeing from congestion to pollution intentionally dividing communities in our historical past and their transportation networks have not kept pace with the rapidly evolving changes in how we live, how we work how we do business than and they do not yet account for changes in lifestyle and american lifestyle including comments had been made
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about declining ridership. i think their existing advancements and new technologies on the horizon which will have a direct impact and can move goods and people in a different way. with the new for structure funding we can actually begin to shift our old ways of thinking to fix this. ohio's two senators played a central role in drafting this transformative legislation through listening at the local an raising awareness of the necessary investments needed to support our nations economy like to share a few examples of how the central ohio transit authority can put these funds to use for the economy in central ohio and the entire state. central ohio is a region of 2.2 millionop people with a unie situation where we are expected to grow. we have known growth and planning principals and transit can build committees which lead to a higher-quality of life
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built around affordable housing affordable access to amenities and employment and job opportunities. transformational initiative does exactly that. entities across the central ohio region are collaborating to address our growth in a more sustainable pattern. the high-capacity high-frequency transit quarters which is support more dense transit and connecting to ourev room at committees through highway and surface transportation investments. two of our planned quarters are already in the capitol alinvestment grant funding pipeline through the third quarter will be submitted later this year and an expectation of two more to follow. we work diligently to align with the outcomes rejected in the program will benefit greatly specifically to the small start portion of that program which
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addresses a communities of our size. a coda would understand and take seriously a role in protecting lives to improve air quality in our region. our a industry knows to have a lasting impact we must commit operations to convening -- converting clean fuel. at coda we are on track to be completely diesel three by 2025 or that the commitment we have made in the past with their local programs. we are preparing a path forward to net carbon-neutral. last year with the help of the federal grant program with to play their first elect to transit vehicles and we went a step further with their localit energy provider to ensure they are going to be powered by entirely zero -- energy. they have today announced last week 1 billion competitive funding to assist us and my colleagues with other ways tos accelerate what we are already
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doing at the local level with localur funding. on a workforce fund i think it's important to mention our front-line operators throughout our paratransit and our microtransit are central to our mission. the transit is facing a workforce shortage like every specter of the american economy. at coda we did not lay off a single operator yet the current labor shortage has forced us to make service reductions where short 20% of the operators necessary to operate. putting a burden on our communities and as mentioned before third shift late-night shift weekends service can be served. we are working onng innovative training programs and we encourage any workforce funds to be available to make sure we scale up retool and reimagine the workforce of the future. i'd like to mention this law
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will not improve the condition of transit agencies but it will improve the roadways that we run on and iof believe we can transform how we use them. it has the potential to dramatically improve safety and decrease capacity using our existing system when it's repurposed by using more density shared rides ridden central ohio most of our capacity to meet her future demand if we invest in emerging technology and i believe the environment has the potential to make us safer and moreef efficient. our systems are increasingly integratingte more technology me than a terabyte a day and this is a huge opportunity now the v fund software toality and improvements there for structure or rematches funding the concrete and the steel in the resume vehicles we are funding what connects them. we believet they bring a unique approach improving our nation.
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our mission is to connect people to prosperity. we are one of the few transit agencies that is an increase in ridership year for year. prior to the pandemic because we understand transit has to make uset of economy and the people t serving. we think this bill has made huge and generous strides adds up to us from a policy of and regulatory perspective to authorize how we invest them imagine this systems. i believe the future work trends are here already we have generations of workers who are readykear to join the workforcef ohio through new systems and we want to make sure we have the american lifestyle andty this isn't something the ceo says very often. ii threw it in there.
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my i committee is going througha huge transformation of the moment and we believe this infrastructure bill could help support his to make sure it supports her future economy. thank you. >> thank you mr. greenwood and will come. >> distinguished members of the committee and ventrone general manager and ceo of the metropolitan rapid transit agency in atlanta. i'm honored to have the opportunity to appear alongside my colleagues and share our experiences and future expansion efforts made possible in part by the congress passage of the bipartisan infrastructure law. this has been the culmination for me 35 years of experience in the transit agency. i worked my way through college as a bus operator. first it was just a job. at some point the mission of getting people where they needed to go to camp part of me. i roast a service officer at the
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traffic s commission and the guided the agency through several transportation initiatives within 20 minutes personally promoted because of the lime in the provision for public transit. s marta's largest public transit agency in the southeast and one of the largest in the country providing bus rail paratransit in streetcar services and it has a robust transit oriented development program that incorporates affordable housing and equitable access driving economic growth and development around the rail stations. we have eagerly embarked on three expansion project that will briefly describe as we hoped they would lead to did beneficiaries of funding that the bipartisan in for structure law. these expansion projects will benefit from a key change from a small program.
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it increases project illegibility illegibility from creative millionom to $40 millin that like to personally thank senators warnock and assault for their leadership on securingck that change that is already having an impact. one of the first initiatives i worked on when i arrived in my -- is the focus on service enhancement and expansion but is a former bus operator and his operator and to stand the importance of reliableor bus service and while rail may get little attention at the bus at the back bone of public transit and bus service particularly rapid transit has the potential to be transformative for city part of that in mind i'm pleased to share the south lake as rabbit transit progress is advance the development stage. the estimated three and a 38 million-dollar project will provide high-capacity transit service connecting college brill stationed in the southern part
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of metro atlanta close to the airport to several key destinations including counting including commercial quarters a hospital in the town center. has the first beer team claimed him do the project will feature n13 new stations with 10 brandd electric vehicles and associated charging it for structure and the installation of transit signal prior priority equipment at key intersections. another one of the routes is along campbelltown road southwest of atlanta. in partnership with the city of atlanta where investing in high-capacity transit to improve connect to the date accessibility and mobility along this important quarter but the transit and transit development investments planned for this vibrant part of the city will support the overall economic and community development to establish neighbors along the route. one of exciting parts of bus rapid transit planned use of electric assistedle travel throh
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dense urban corridor is leaving no emissions in their wake. the first no emission buses will reduce their fleet by approximately 935 tons of greenhouse gases and reduce harmful particle matter. the increase in funding for the no in low emission bus program will help marta accelerate the transition of her fleet of fuel emission buses and where working with the city the plan of the a transformation of our largest and busiest train station which sits in the heart of the city. marta will be seeking new discretionary grants to support the 150 million-dollar redevelopment of the station at the intersection of four rail lines and transfer hubs for dozens of intercity bus route to serve major government and educational facilities job centers and atlanta's vibrant arts and cultural scene.
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in closing want to thank you for the opportunity to present to the committee today and i'm proud of the progress we have made in the atlanta reason -- reach including challenging circumstances while we provide service to the ongoing pandemic and grateful for the leadership of the georgia congressional delegation and the role of the bipartisan infrastructure law. senators allsop and warnock have provided steadfast support of marta andup communities infrastructure bank conference of passat is fundamental all contribute to oril sustained growth as an expanded cost-effective and practical way with. support from president biden and chairman buttigieg. thank you for this historic legislation and all that it will do for the people and communities of the atlanta metro region. >> thank you mr. greenwood and mr. reagan you are recognized.
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>> i represent the majority of those workers. but some transit operators park rangers mechanics and front-line professionals. today we may hear from some who argue the investment in public transit are taxpayer dollars. we may hear transit only serves new york city. we may hear the pandemic has doomed public transit. i want to be clear on one fact those claims are wrong. they are short-sighted and ignore the critical world of transit for millions of people and the services. that's truer today than anytime in our modern history. the american middle class has been under attack. two-thirds of americans live
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paycheck to paycheck in the pandemic placed a greater strain household budget which was already stretchld them to te point of cruelty and the richest nations on the planet. now because of historically high gas prices constituents will have to look their families and i on how to put gas in their cars and put onei their table. all while dealing with the other pressures such as rampant inequality. some might respond by saying the cost of gas is president biden's please note these are claims that are only meant to in your fears by the wealthy corporations and their allies while the american people work harder and get poor. i say this to make one point. it would be a grave mistake under line -- undermined the central commuters and the pocketbooks of every single american.
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there's only one solution to drive the pre-pandemic growth. more service better service and the real long-term vision delivered by president biden and members of his committee. not only does the bill make unprecedented investment in public transportation that also included labor's biggest priorities protect workers from assault and create new good jobs in clean transit. two years ago past present where willis testified before this committee about the safety conditions faced by transit workers on the job every single day. the problem has only grown worse during the pandemic as was previously noted. thanks to the hard work of this committee senator van hollen transportation labor and the unwavering supporter president biden we will be live with turne the tide and provide safety for workers to. don't put accrued over forms at require for the first time the federal transit administration collect accurate data and reform
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its public transportation agency safety i plan process to include worker voices and appropriate measures to reduce assault and every single transit system in this country. an updated national safety plan which is the risk of assault and other public health concerns. it is deeply painful to witness transit workers still facing the threat of assault and other unsafe conditions to place them in harm's way. nassikas spoke with administrator fernandez of the fta and i'm -- to make sure no transit worker will wind up in the hospital or worse because their employers do not protect them. second the bill clearly illustrates innovative t new technologies and the creation of maintenance of good union jobs go hand-in-hand and good policy ties it together. chair brown sought venture the massive investment and no emissions vehicle programmer tied to the historic investment in the future workforce.
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specifically the power quires transit agencies to transition to zero-emission buses and addresses one of the largest skills gaps and essentially by her writing millions of dedicated funding for workforce training. workforce training including labor-management programs theng adoption of a tech knowledge it will ensure a high road labor model that provides good new jobs and is consistent with the department of transportation's innovative principals which make clear workers will have a voice at the table. last week the fda issued its first funding opportunity for the program. thanks to senator brown's position workers and fta commissioner fernandez vietze ta will confirm the workforce keeps pace with new technology predict risk and grow along with the -- we thank both of you for your important work on this truly historic issue and this huge
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improvement for transit workers. again thank you both for having me and i look forward to answering your questions. >> thank you mr. regan end this schulz is recognized from new york. >> members of the committee thank you for the opportunity to testify. can you hear me? >> we can hear you perfectly dr. schulz. >> i'm going to skip over most of my resume. you heard it or right i was in policing and i worked as a consultant for a number ofor transit agencies as well as on safety and security for the fta. .. order. i'm very good to follow mr. regan because i, too, am concerned with worker security
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and i know that's an issue for all the transit worker unions. transit systems in many cities, i can name them quickly, i'm from new york, i talk fast. new york, denver, los angeles, >> . >> replacing them with homeless outreach and mental health workers and ambassadors and then to explain. recent study of 100 agencies found that 90 percent reported complaints of homeless rioters has a negative effect and that it has increased during covid when some systems lost more than 70 percent.
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many stations have become the fact of homeless shelters for injection sites. raising security concerns for employees. grifters are not new to transit but allowing them to remain is you. marks the latest steps for transit this is reflected in the broken window theory before they become bigger weather on the street or in the transit facility. this has been incorrectly described as the opposite of
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community policing went off any other soft this is a false dichotomy assuring viability isn't tough or soft that maintaining order to keep people safe and secure and without it we are threatening patrons and employees. also to lessen the focus and responding to studies as previously mentioned that young minority males are not proportionately cited. one of the studies with different levels of citations but talk about fair enforcement but then on appeal the same as washington with the whole concept.
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weather that is under the fourth amendment, these cases with decided as the maryland case. the systems are likely to retail enforcement effectively making transit free. they are also advocates transit used to be called free transit before they realize that someone even if not the writers would pay for it. advocates believe that includes equity and pollution on march 4th using the funds to back and i they will
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include security because they know us writers are mostly low income women and that women increasingly work as operators. and in conclusion transit systems have an obligation to provide a secure environment infrastructure law does not do this in any way or it does provide the tracking of the employees. assuring patrons in the new and improvedur facilities. and then to provide shelter to the end housed are the
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injection sites and looking at other modes of travel and it is already in short supply will find other places to work. thank you for the opportunity to speak and i look forward to answering any of your questions. >> . >> chairman brownif ranking member and members of the committee thank you for inviting to testify today limit policy analyst at nearly 50 yearsor of experience studying transportation in land usage. today asking hownd public transit can progress under the bipartisan infrastructure act. i'm afraid i have bad news. i can't and it won't. public transit has been declining for more than a
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century for most of that time federal state and local governments have increasing subsidies of transit aimed at reversing the decline and the results are a complete failure. since congress passed the urban mass transportation act taxpayers have spent well over subsidizing transit be at the number of trips taken from his fallen from 1964 to just 37 and 2019. and it carry less than 1 percent of all us passenger travel. americans did not reject transit because of a conspiracy or a love affair with driving they stopped because it is an inferior good slower and more expensive and doesn't go were most people want to go in 2019 people can save money by driving instead of writing transit because her passenger mile were 20 percent more than what they spent
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driving their cars. on top of this subsidies to transit were more than 100 times as much per passenger mile is subsidies to highways even with those university of minnesota researchers estimate 2019 the average student of the 50 largest urban areas can reach almost one twice as many jobs in a 20 minute drive as in a 60 minute transit trips. transit is so inferior that bicycle riders commitment to more jobs and those of the transit of the same link that is third class transportation it was inferior even in new york city and the pandemic accelerated to allow americans to turn away from transit and decentralization and those of the suburbs the census bureau
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american community survey found increase the number of people bicycling to work each declined by 16 percent. >> the trends in the industry reduces greenhouse gas emissions to help low income people out of poverty and promote economic development. i discussed all of these in my written testimony but now i like to address the claim that transit promote social justice by helping poor people and free transits even more socially just. even though income people know that transit is superior in 2019 only 5 percent of workers who earn less than 25000 per year for transit to work compared to 7 percent of people who earn more than $75000 per year. coming from regressive taxes such as sales and property
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taxes. those that don't ride transit disproportionally pay taxesys for systems those that are used by high income people very definition of social injustice. i wonder if free transit. and then to take their class transportation were almost everyone else can take first class transportation. american cities have a long history of throwing money at transit for no benefit the worst-case is losng angeles spending millions on transit and lost by bus riders for everyone and writer they gained portland st. louis and otheres cities have no increase in writers the only real beneficiaries of these projects of the engineering firms from the construction firms that built them they
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have higher gas prices hoping they will return to transit but they want between 1999 and 2011 gas prices nearly tripled after adjusted online inflation that's not enough to increase telecommuting ofme common infectious diseases and with those transit agency. that would make the response to theer transit riders rather than to engineering and construction firms thank you very much.
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>> talk about the population growthbu part of that growth will result from the $20 billion from the building trades workers over ten years ultimately creating 10000 new jobs so how will that investments of the infrastructure built contribute to that by helping more workers connect to jobs and all of the spinoffs from intel quick. >> thank you for the question. just last fight fridayed i was invited to convene local officials you are looking at entire systems have such massive investment we already see growth byir hundreds of thousands in our community
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have to look at the entire system it is a system engineering program we are thrilled to be at the table. he would normally think of being the responsibility of the federal highway or dot your transit agency but it is about access and affordable housing and childcare and food access. so we believe that mobility is the most important component to build out a new site and when i say mobility in physical and digital so people be able to move and connect so we are part of an overall system we already know you cannot expand enough to relieve congestion to get all people to the site but reusing the numbers with development and transiting part ofin the formula to make sure looking
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at the new trends of people coming in and out of the city and where they are coming from across the rural parts of ohio's we conditionally connect the real transit system to the high-capacity system. doesn't mean we have to buy new vehiclesve but up grade hardware and software so they can talk to one another. >> what is faster and better serviceas mean. >> to the writers it means the world it unlocks potential and opportunities for people whosi normally may not take transit having a more robust transit system more reliable getting people to where they want to go sooner allows them the dream chasing the job that they want and then when they give their word in the daily lives if they rely on public
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transit we need to make sure that our word means something we only get that invest in transit to make sure the infrastructure is such that that level of reliability is there. >> you think of low income workers who don't have much of a voice in this congress or who work all t day or on their feet all day than have to take a bus ride home and change buses and it takes one hour ten minutes to get home. what better more efficient service would mean to them. thank you. the infrastructure process those who operate the next generation buses and conversations all over ohio 78 transit systems with that transition when companies and agencies with the new technologies often workers get left behind were denied the training that they need the
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bipartisan infrastructure lot transit requirement is that a good model for the transitions? walk through how we avoid the problems we've seen in the past. >> to spend less than 1 percent on front-line worker training this would put 5 percent into the overall investment in the people you can going the workforce along with thens expansion of the system and improving service workforce has to be along for the ride. >> thank you. >> recent years the federal
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government was providing $15 billion per year to subsidize transit. in 2020 and with the under this transit agencies to have another 20 and a half billion and then on top of that an additional 87 billion over the next four fiscal years. this of course does not include the hundreds and hundreds of billions oft the federal government in a year when they were sending an all-time record for tax revenue collections. are you aware of any kind of logical and methodical process for the defense needs based
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for determining these massive amounts ofve money? >> i don't know any reason why transit has gotten all of that money before the pandemic it was carrying less than 1 percent of passenger travel and that has been less than half a percent or no freight the main transportation problem that emerged from the pandemic was a freight problem the supply chain problem and none of the covid relief many went to a that supply chain problem so by my calculation more than 40 percent of the many went to the transit for the transportation dollars went to transit. usou department of transportation has found there's a backlog of 105.$1 billion of deferred mass transit known as a state
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of good repair needs. it seems to me there are project sponsors looking tont have the federal government with that commuter rail projects a amid depressed ridership are these transit agencies all making sure that the money they are getting his first going to deal with the state of good repair to bring up to date the deferred maintenance and those needs have been identified? >> we have many examples of transit agencies with serious deferred maintenance needs and chose to spend federal dollars on new transit instead there's a silver mine and greenline in boston many other examples of transit agencies with systems that were breaking down and deciding instead to spend money on you transit.
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i think what transit agencies have learned from the pandemic it doesn't matter if actually carry any transit riders. they still get a lot subsidies. the important thing is the construction is done is not important as of the transit agencies have no incentive to be responsive to writer needs. >> in my opening statement new york mayor adams has publicly admitted to not feeling safe using his own city subway, the mta. earlier this year directed the staff for low-level crimes. the previous da an outstanding criminal prosecution back in
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2017 say how some years of experience where as a de facto matter there is a no fair ridership on the mta. so it actually has been decriminalized as a practical matter what has experience been for the tan my lessons can be john from that history? >> . >> this is also true in brooklyn and when they get all of the attention or new york or anywhere. and that has values about 40 percent see you can only imagine what it is like in systems like minnesota or seattle or portland that
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basically please remember to pay your fair. and that's really where it comes into play because of the enforcement is really the only sign of order that existed and all the advocates say it's only 20 percent although in some cities and tires 40 percent. takes away the guardians. and then to be on the trains or the platforms for security
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personnel and so people are really left to their own devices. and of the dollar 20 or 275. fac other people why should they pay? and during the pandemic and all of those people who have nowhere to go and there were so few writers and then let them be. so many of them are victims
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but unfortunately it helps to create to the fear level so all of these things together add to a downward spiral that they don't have to depend the system and then they have to go to work. and i word suspect they would ask them to then to get those that they do have to. >> thank you senator toomey.
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spent thinking mr. chairman it is veryf appropriate. i have a number of questions i will start with you. which percentage of vehicles are electric? >> we just want to first two buses this year with other eight to come and then another capital program within ten years to switch primarily. and the previously mentioned to be diesel free by 2025. with a mixture coming into the state over the next ten years. >> . >> the two electric buses that you have?
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but they have been in services last fall. >> we know the advantage pointed out already know missionsoi noise issues. on the other advantages of electricity? were any disadvantages? >> there is an opportunity of retraining and retooling. i'm working in the automotive industry and dot. workforce retraining and we bring 17 -year-olds from high school to our facility and this is for other vehicles
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came online. in addition to taking classes they pay a full rate and are offered a job at the end of the two-year training but we are being incredibly aggressive with the t opportunity that only to help the future workforce understand the electrification and those that we have with the grid and the lack of a national energy policy. and then understanding how those systems work. and a massive state of good repair i do not have issues with significant local funding at the central transit ohio authority that we are in a good state of repair at all
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times. we wait for something to breakdown we predict when it will break down. that shift the data analytics is a huge opportunity for us. >> and with the federal transit administration and the city of atlanta. and with a lot of administrative headaches. also hear about the amount of time and with that transit progress on —- projects. and how that navigates the
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requirements and do you see areas where it might make sense to take a different approach to the administrative requirements? >> we actually enjoy good partnership with the state and city representatives we are galvanized by the urgency of good connected public transit. while there may be issues administratively to be hammered out west of legislation and the grant opportunities we meet quite regularly to have a deep internal commitment between the groups and we will set up the table and strategize that the winner of all of this is public transit and t individuals that depend on it. >> 12 miles from a population of 600av we don't have a lot of transit there so to have that opportunity i was pleasantly surprised and it cost me more
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money to put my car on the street than it does to get a right on the metro. but some funny math and i yield. >> . >> thank you, mr. chair. so the bipartisan infrastructure bill can build america by america requirements of infrastructure programs currently don't have them in this means more jobs and more benefits for american workers including in minnesota so let me ask you about this. can we speak to the importance of the infrastructure bill and what can you expect for
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american manufacturing quick. >> thankse you senator. i think those are vitally important for long-term success of the investments we're making and in particular we have emerging rolling stop opportunities in new technology that's part of the system. and with the right policies to make sure to capture that we have lost over the past so by america combined with other investments and then to make sure wete have a functioning system and the workforce to provide in the supply chain here in the united states to supplier systems with what they need. >> i totally agree with that in minnesota a major supplier
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of iron or which is why we care so much why they are focused from the united states and i'm in the range and for steelworkers and others working on the iron range this is absolutely essential so talk more about why these more detailed standards and the many waivers. ands then that competitiveness with dad ability of manufacturing. >> the by america has always been slightly imperfect in percentage of the railcar if it 60 percent going up 75 percent everyone can assign their own value based on how much the aluminum shells were.
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so having more detail and specificity with a by america policy is important and having more data to understand where the gaps are with her on supply chains to meet those needs for thes manufacturers to make something that can go into the railcars. so the people that you represent in minnesota to know there is an opportunity to build something for this country and the money we are investing in transportation. >> and those businesses where they put those investment dollars where they can get a long-term return and where they can build a career and all of that contributes to our a countryeness as and often with a long-term resilience of thehe supply chain for the affordability of the products would you agree?
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>> i would completely agree with that and number we invest in manufacturing and having domestic supply chain the cheaper it will be number we can compete around the world frankly. and that the supplys chain crisis shows anything it is in many areas we simply are not prepared to deal with and provide the goods we need in this country. weve just might have the railcars ready to move in the trucks to transport but that just shows we are not prepared for a moment like that. >> let me quickly turn to you. people who rely on transit to go to childcare they understand you cannot have one
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without the other. so their perspective is running an important organization likew martel what do you do to make sure that is working and will run and it is on time and works on the people that rely on it to make their lives work? >> it is intra- goal in our daily lives unionized employees we have this commitment that our job is to move people i would go one step further to say public transit is important even if you don't ride the bus or the train the employees that we call essential employees have been essential all along we just decide to call them that due to the pandemic that they went to work at the hospitals or the medical centers are
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those and then they got there by a large so the beneficiaries of public transit go beyond the people of thehe vehicles. >> the senator from georgia is recognized. >> thank you. in addition i want to welcome the members of the board and building on my colleague senator smith praise who has sustained these transit systems all of the transit workers in georgia for their efforts. and to begin by discussing expansion of transit service to clayton county i joined marta in 2014 and continuing to urge the expansion of high-capacity service to clayton county where the bipartisanan infrastructure law
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we passed in congress help to provide with the resources and the capacity to extend the service to clayton county? >> that isis our commitment with a bipartisan infrastructure lie will deliver resources for high-capacity transit and we acknowledge an existing challenge to make sure expanding rail anywhere in metro atlanta is difficult to me have to have a lot of collaboration with different priorities and to be less incentivized to move people as we are. however we will continue those conversations and discussions and we are reassured by the fact we can successfully do high capacity transit we are also investigating best traffic transit in southwest atlanta as well as the court
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or a in northeast atlanta. >> can you give an estimate for when clayton county residents may be able to take advantage of thehe plan which would be made possible in part things to the bipartisan infrastructure law quick. >> it's based on the support. residents of clayton county can expect results as soon as 2026. coming online in 2026 the maintenance facilities will come online in 2026 and what that means is that unlocks transit as a force multiplier the sooner we get these projects off the ground and running the sooner the benefit should beneficiaries can contribute to the economic development. >> you mentioned the five-point station and marta is providing service across the metro atlanta region
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college park decatur all the way through sandy springs and alpharetta. five-point station is the hub. i want to urge you to submit thatn application for the resources to upgradepg that tafacility particular with a view toward increasing capacity and passenger safety and commit to you that i will do everything i can working with the secretary transportation to upgrade the fire on —- the five-point station to ensure it is the safest and best hub possible for writers in metro atlanta public forward to working with you on that. >> finally i want to ask you about planning and the president signed the local transit at into law which
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expands support for transit planning in low income communities and low-density communities. can you please comment on how the local transit support actual support improvedas transportation along metro atlanta but also based on your experience of coastal georgia and middle georgia and south georgia were there is not a robust t infrastructure? >> marta enjoys a one cent sales tax &-ampersand love the communities outside of marta footprint one of the common complaints that wee here is
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that transit is not expanding dfast enough and is not going to the places that are developing around the currento marta footprint. so that agency that doesn't have as much funding or the formal available to do that type of investigation it will allow them to catch up and do the worknk necessary necessary to benefit the region theory considered and interconnected network. >> and for parts of georgia outside of the immediate jurisdiction and local transit will help low-density communities how improved transportation for communities across the state quick. >> i have always looked at transit as a common thread
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there is no point in building strong transit and one area and need any bearing agencies desolate so we call it the equalizer because it gets from point a to point b so that is regardless of where you live that currency or that equity is available for you that is the magic of transit it is the common thread to better link with the other providers of transit in the common goal. >> thank you for holding this hearing. as my colleagues have heard me say many times over, we have a program in the northeast corridor were called the gateway program to modernize our century old infrastructure between new jersey and new
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yorkiz that is utilized by those new jersey transit and the northeast corridor. and then new york transit entities. and it is vital to the future of my state in the national economy. i say thatay because that region generates 20 percent of gdp for the entire region and this is incredibly important. i'm happy to report we made significant progress over the last year or so through the northbridge project side with the federal transit administration in january of last year and that is 800 million to flow to the project and the hudson river tunnel under the previous administration and then to finalize the review project and and to move forward under
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the capital investment grant. and that is why i raise this because i want to talk about that as part of our effort but i want to thank the chairman and other colleagues on the committee for their work to pass a strong transit title as part of the infrastructure and jobs act that increase the authorization by 50 percent. last week we passed in fy 22 spending bill including 400 million when combined with appropriations fy 21 through 22. so both of your transit systems. can you speak of the importance for your respective agencies in the communities that they serve? >> thank you for the question. our capital improvement grant s applications for locally but
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we put a lot of thought over the next five t or ten years with the addition of people to our region and to increase to become unaffordable. and we are also seeing the amount of infrastructure toe be invested could cost billions. if we build in a smaller footprint and more transmitted manner then we have the ability to reduce the tax burden on local residents. that will require investment in transit so the cag program is essential to us as we transform our community and in particular those around the small starts portion is vital going from midsized city just from the last census.
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>> that the improvement changing the ceiling from $300 million to 400 million has unlocked the ability to move a lot more projects to the pipeline. we have gotten ourselves intohr a position through a more agile administrative landscape to execute on multiple projects at thetti same time bringing to the communities that assume results as opposed to a landscape that normally causes people to hear about something and then wait and wait for results they can get a timeline thatit is more in keeping with their expectations and allows us to more aggressively. >> and those that shed have the share of these quick. >> i am a former mayor and i
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have seen firsthand the transformative impact that access to a plan transit can have on communities the linkage between affordable housing and access to transit and please some progress was made and then to provide greater focus on transportation planning with global livable communities in terms of infrastructure. can you speak to the ways in which your agency has worked are working to incorporate access to affordable housing went of being and evaluating a potential project? >> it has been a staple. talk about lions and dots not only tonl be billed through
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effective core door planning but to make sure that dots in the stations inml the areas around those stations are well supported. we firmly believe development is essential to the developmentpe of a community when speaking of economic development. those to share and contribute to the economic development. where rental rates are difficult if that's the case people are changing locations to find housing they can afford and the domino effect is that the children that are established in school to demonstrate their own economic powers has to change schools and relocate themselves. we are affecting more than just the immediate members of the family. we are affecting the entire family. equitable transit forces
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communities actually enables communities to work together to plan deliberately to protect the interest of everyone. >> . >> and the good work we did to build a strong transit title your recognize. >> thank you mr. chairman. >> all public transportation in the bipartisan infrastructure bill and people need to get where they are going. and i and proud you are here to represent marta serves the metro atlanta area more than
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13 urban transit systems and 80 rural system serving 80 percent of the 159 counties from augusta to valdosta. georgia transit and marta expansion plan has been top of mind for me since my first day here in the senate. especially since we negotiate a bipartisan infrastructure packagee i agree how i talk about the importance of cig to introduce the capital investment grant. and not to ensure that provisions are included in the bipartisan infrastructure bill. so talk about mart is working clayton county. to provide more options and mobility leads to social
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i was thrilled to deliver a one / two punch of funding last week for the new multipurpose operations and maintenance facility in clayton county. last week we passed into law including a 5 million-dollar for the new facility. and also to receive $15 million through the federal bus facilities compared to the grant program. and i'm glad we can deliver. mr. greenwood, tell me about the importance of this facility to marta and clayton county quick. >> thank you senator warnock and singing the praises very
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recently but all the work you have done to support us in this regard. it is very important to the neighborhood to that bricks and mortar but marta is not just passing through. it is a representation to the people that yes there will be 733 permanent jobs direct and indirect and in the neighborhood and those jobs and operations administration, technology and management is an inspiration to the community to have a local police department precinct right there in the neighborhood to provide all economic development and addresses climate change because of the safety and security in the neighborhood, inspiration and clear example of capital investment leading to operational efficiencies as he
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minimize the deade had minutes when they are not in service because the home is now inside of the community. now firing on all cylinders. >> and with those benefits and the impact on the issue of climate and sustainability how does this facility impact your effort to transition to electric quick. >> it will say this it is a purpose built this facility and that means yes we are solving today's needs and we are routinely aware of the
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fact incumbent to support the needs and we are aware this is 2022 and technology is zero emotion propulsion systems isgi changing rapidly and we are making sure this facility allows us to remain simple , accommodate what we know about electric buses today and accommodate tomorrow the developments in the future propulsion technologies. we will have space and ports and access for the batteries and charging and safety and minimal reversal news built into the design of the system of the facility it is absolutely forward facing and that landscape.
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>> and focusing on the opportunities in this work that i could secure $20 million for this facility hopefully we can secure future investments and i look forward to seeing this project once completed. >> . >> thank you for your testimony and your work the passage of the infrastructure modernization bill will be a huge boost to transit in my state of maryland. that will allow us to modernize the existing transit system with new light rail systems and will extend the federal participation in the nation's metro system and it will revive a chance to have a full metro system where the federal delegation has secured
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about $1 billion of federal support but the state number of years decided not to put the matching find and with the governor we think we will get that back on the list of things to do. one overlooked area of transit where we made substantial progress is transit worker safety and workforce development and training. thank yount and your team at the transportation trades department your input on the bill especially those provisions. i want to start with the safety issue because i introduced a bill to support greater worker safety in response to all of the assaults that we mentioned on the transit workers which predated the pandemic that
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came to a peak and there was no definition for what constituted one of these attacks there was no record-keeping and there was no system in place for preventing these avoidable attacks i am pleased we could include provisions from that bill in the final product thank you for your support can you just talk about the implementation of those safety provisions and how they can make quick progress? >> it is vital to get across the finish line. so for us this is a major win for working people. under the current definition of assault somebody who has they are driving up driving a t
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bus to make sure they are reflecting the scale so it brings the workers into the safety s planning process it seems i so obvious those who see what it's likera on the ground with the vulnerabilities and when they talkt to agencies about planning how to make a safer environment so that will be a really big step to hopefully solve this awful problem speculate forward to working with you on the implementation passing a law is one thing implementing is another so we went to make sure those changes take place as rapidly as possible for the safety of the workers. one overlooked area is workforce training i would
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also introduce legislation on that i was pleased the fda also move forward about the same time with the national transit workforce center and that received additional funds as part off the infrastructure bill can you talk about the implementation of that provision of the legislation quick. >> this is the first time we are putting federal funding into front-line workforce training which isng a huge improvement frankly is long overdue and those will help us jumpstart in aan much more important way and not a moment too soon because my friends will be expanding service to see new opportunities so we are looking forward to the agencies and with our partners
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in the industry when we apply people say this is what we plan to do. to make sure the workforcete development this is how we create people and the skills we develop for our employees will be a really important part of making this a success across the country. >> joining us today, the two from new york and oregon and the three of you that are here.
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this hearing showed the great benefits to the public that a come from investment in public transit, and we'll see great benefits in other infrastructure sectors. thanks to the witnesses for t yr testimony. for senators who wish to submit questions for the hearing record, these questions are due one week from if today, on tuesday, march 22nd. please submit responses to questions for the record within 45 days of the date you receive them. thank you all foror joining us, the hearing is adjourned. [inaudible conversations]
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[inaudible conversations]]
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