National transit group calls for a rally for transit

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Tuesday October 10, is the national #Rally4Transit day. Image courtesy Voices for Public Transit.
Map of the proposed Frequent Transit Network in the draft Transit Master Plan. Image courtesy Salt Lake City public documents.

Today Salt Lake City celebrates its first Indigenous Peoples Day, recognizing the people that lived in America long before any European settler arrived.  But for the urban-centered and transit advocates, there is a second holiday this week that also merits recognition.  On Tuesday, October 10, transit activists across the country will celebrate the #Rally4Transit a day in which participants work to increase awareness of the importance of public transit and put pressure on Congress to adequately fund mass transit operations.

On Tuesday, October 10, transit advocates across the country will #Rally4Transit, a day in which participants work to increase awareness of the importance of public transit and put pressure on Congress to adequately fund mass transit operations.

The #Rally4Transit event is organized by the American Public Transportation Association’s  Voices for Public Transit campaign and the National Alliance of Public Transportation Advocates.  The group offers tools and resources to help transit advocates quantify the financial and social benefits of public transit.  According to event organizers, tomorrow’s #Rally4Transit is especially important as the current Congress and US President consider reductions to the federal transit budget and the elimination of programs like TIGER grants that have helped fund local transit projects, including the S-Line streetcar and the Blue Line extension.  A TIGER Grant will also fund several pedestrian bridges along the Wasatch Front.  Federal funds also helped fund the construction of the Red and Green TRAX light rail lines.

According to event organizers, tomorrow’s #Rally4Transit is especially important as the current Congress and US President consider reductions to the federal transit budget and the elimination of programs like TIGER grants that have helped fund local transit projects, including the S-Line streetcar and the Blue Line extension.  A TIGER grant will also fund several pedestrian bridges along the Wasatch Front.  Federal funds also helped fund the construction of the Red and Green TRAX light rail lines.

“We are calling on Congress to renew our nation’s historic commitment to public transportation in the upcoming budget,” writes the event promoters on their Facebook event page. “The Administration and some members of Congress have proposed cuts to public transportation that may stall or undermine current and future public transit projects. We must tell Congress that cuts to public transportation will hurt American communities and our economy, cost jobs, reduce public safety and increase traffic congestion.”

Cuts to federal transit funds could negatively impact Salt Lake as the city is poised to pass its first ever Transit Master Plan that seeks to have every resident live and/or work within a quarter mile of a high-frequency transit route.  A lack of federal funds could hinder the city’s planned expansion of its transit network.

According to the #Rally4Tranist event page, on October 10, participants can show their support for public transit by:

• Sending a letter to their member of Congress.
• Submitting a Letter-to-the-Editor to their local media outlets.
• Sharing messages of support for public transit on their elected officials’ social media platforms with the #Rally4Transit hashtag.

Additionally, participants can show support for public transit by joining the Voices for Public Transit’s Thunderclap page at http://bit.ly/R4TThunderclap and signing their petition at   Change.org: http://bit.ly/R4TChange.

About Isaac Riddle 630 Articles

Isaac Riddle grew up just outside of Salt Lake City, Utah. He has a BA in English literature from the University of Utah and a Masters of Journalism from Temple University. Isaac has written for
Next City, The Philadelphia Public School Notebook and Salt Lake City Weekly. Before embarking on a career in journalism, Isaac taught High School English in the Kensington neighborhood of Philadelphia. Isaac is the founder of Building Salt Lake and can be reached at isaac@buildingsaltlake.com.