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Take Action! Enable Transit Funding From State & Local Levels

image description: photo of a person wearing a yellow shirt riding a bus, next to superimposed text that reads, “Tell PA Lawmakers: Support Public Transit. Paid for by Clean Air Action Fund.

Take Action Now to Expand Transit Funding in PA!

UPDATE: Our organizing is working – now let’s keep up the pressure! On 10/3/23 the PA House passed HB1219 which includes a 2% increase in dedicated resources to the PA Public Transit Trust Fund! This vital funding would increase access for Pennsylvanians in all 67 counties. But this opportunity will fail if the PA Senate doesn’t take action. You can help keep the pressure on by writing your legislators today!

We deserve safe, dignified, reliable, public transportation, and right now the federal government has offered us unprecedented opportunity to achieve these ends.

Today, local governments cannot enact local taxes or fees to raise funds for public transportation initiatives. And with permanently-changed travel patterns since the pandemic, ridership and therefore revenue to maintain current service is facing a major cliff.

An ongoing lack of capital funding, combined with limited local matching funds, has created a backlog of maintenance and improvements that are limiting Pennsylvanians’ access to reliable transit and holding back our economy. 

As a result of these restrictions, your local transit agency does not qualify for certain streams of federal transportation dollars. All transit agencies are similarly facing major cuts to service and fare increases without quick action from the state government to ensure stable operating funds.

Show your support by contacting your legislator directly from this page.

The Benefits of Local Transit Funding Control

  1. Fund key capital projects like the return of the Reading line, the proposed Roosevelt Boulevard Subway, and the expanded East Busway
  2. Tackle essential maintenance and construction projects, including making all train and trolley stations accessible
  3. Capitalize on historic federal funds through the Inflation Reduction Act and Infrastructure Investment & Jobs Act.
  4. Expand public transit access and equity 

The Opportunities of Increased Operating Support

Enable faster, more reliable, and more frequent service – the number-one priority of transit riders across demographics

Prevent catastrophic cuts to service and fare increases threatened by transit agencies across the state

Allow agencies breathing room to adjust schedules and routes to meet permanently-altered post-COVID travel patterns

2 Bills, 1 Chance for the Commonwealth

Public transportation operates in all 67 counties in Pennsylvania; this isn’t just an urban issue.

Proposed legislation (HB 1307, HB 902) eliminates barriers to local funding, allowing local experts and lawmakers in Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, and local governments  across the state to plan and prioritize much-needed capital projects.

If passed, this legislation would give local municipalities the freedom to adjust local funding to supplement existing state funding.

Better Transit Now and in the Future

Local control gives SEPTA, PRT and other local transit systems the ability to invest in critical capital projects and maintenance that will ensure safe and reliable ridership for decades to come.

Projects like:

  • Reading Line Extension
  • Pittsburgh Regional Transit East Busway Extension
  • Making all SEPTA stations and vehicles ADA-compliant

A Historic Opportunity

This legislation comes at a critical time, as the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA) and Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) have created a once-in-a-generation opportunity for local governments to capitalize on federal funding and dollar-matching programs. Our agencies are also facing major deficits, as COVID emergency funds disappear.

Unless lawmakers act now, Pennsylvania will miss out on these federal dollars for major projects, and also leave agencies scrambling to make cuts and increase fares to make up for funding deficits. Use this widget and tell your elected officials: Support these bills. Support local transportation control. Support stable and reliable transit for Pennsylvania.

What exactly are the benefits of local transit funding control?

image description: an animated infographic details the benefits of local transit funding control: 1. Fund key capital campaigns like the return of the Reading Line, the Rosevelt Blvd Subway, the expanded East Busway. [next to an image of buses and trains] 2. Capitalize on historic federal funds through the Inflation Reduction Act and Infrastructure Investment & Jobs Act [next to an image of a train, bridge and money] 3. Tackle essential maintenance and construction projects, including making all train and trolly stations accessible. [next to an image of accessibility symbols] 4. Expand public transit access and equity. [next to an image of raised hands of different skin tones]