2003 Adopted Resolutions
71st Annual Meeting
Denver

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RESOLUTION IN SUPPORT OF TRANSIT FUNDING FROM THE TRANSPORTATION TRUST FUND

WHEREAS, in 2000, Americans took 9.4 billion trips using public transportation, an increase of 2.1 percent more than the previous year, outpacing growth in other travel modes and over the past five years, transit usage is up over 20 percent; and

WHEREAS, transit riders represent a cross-section of Americans and come from every ethnic group, age group and income level; and

WHEREAS, there is a growing investment need; the American Public Transportation Association in 2000 documented needs in excess of $42 billion a year for capital, planning and research funds; and

WHEREAS, public expenditures to operate, maintain and invest in public transportation systems in America will amount to $15.4 billion each year, according to the 1997 study "Dollars and Sense: The Economic Case for Public Transportation in America," by the Campaign for Efficient Passenger Transportation; and

WHEREAS, investments in transit have high returns, according to the 1999 study "Public Transportation and the Nation's Economy," by Cambridge Systematics, Inc. which estimated that for every $10 million invested in public transportation, more than $15 million is saved in transportation costs to both highway and public transportation users, including operating, fuel and congestion costs; and

WHEREAS, since 1982 all new federal gas tax dollars going into the trust fund have been divided between highways and transit in an 80 percent highways, 20 percent transit fashion, with 15.44 cents currently going to the highway account and 2.86 cents going into the transit account; and

WHEREAS, any plan to move a portion of transit funding out of the trust fund will undermine the ability of cities to fund significant transit projects to address congestion and air quality; and

WHEREAS, there are discussions in Congress about ending the use of Highway Trust Fund monies for mass transit and applying all trust fund resources only to highways,

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that The United States Conference of Mayors opposes any plan to take the Highway Trust Fund monies away from the transit program, and urges the Administration and Congress to maintain at least the current allocation of 20 percent for transit from the Highway Trust Fund, and should give serious consideration to raising the transit share above the current 20 percent; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Conference of Mayors urges the Administration and Congress to retain the current Federal Transit Administration Local Match Percentage of 20 percent as it recognizes the large investment cities dedicate for transit-related transportation projects and is consistent with the local match required for highway projects; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Conference of Mayors calls on the Administration and Congress to suballocate federal transit funds directly to metropolitan areas where it is presently not doing so due to state DOTs failing to allocate the transit funds to metropolitan areas; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Conference of Mayors urge the Administration and Congress to increase in transit investment to reflect current and future needs.