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“At the end of the day, it’s still a situation to look at getting the maximum utility out of the dollars that we spend and move people around in the most efficient way possible,” he said.
Still, it’s a tough sell in a Congressional environment focused on spending cuts.
“Congress is, unfortunately, stepping away from a robust federal investment in our public transit system, to our detriment,” Larsen said.
But it’s not just Metro that’s hurting for funds — the likelihood of Congress passing the APTA’s proposed reauthorization at a time when government is aiming to cut spending is slim. The chasm between what’s needed and what will likely be spent, Dean said, harms America’s future.
“Our nation’s infrastructure is crumbling, and for us to remain competitive into the future, we need to take a different look at the ways that we invest in all of our transportation infrastructure,” he said.
Correction: July 22, 2011
The article incorrectly stated the availability of public transit in the United States. Forty-six percent of American households do not have access to public transit.