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NEWS: Sen. Ossoff, Rep. Johnson Successfully Negotiate Inclusion of Transit Bill in Budget Measure

Legislation would connect public transportation networks with affordable housing

Washington, D.C. — U.S. Senator Jon Ossoff (D-GA) and Congressman Hank Johnson (GA-04) have successfully secured inclusion of their landmark public transportation bill in the upcoming Congressional budget measure.

Sen. Ossoff and Rep. Johnson’s Public Transportation Expansion Act will make it easier for Georgians to get to work, school, doctor’s appointments, grocery stores, and more.

The bill would, for the first time, fund construction of public transportation specifically connecting affordable housing with transit networks in order to serve riders and commuters in low-income communities.

The bill would also, for the first time in decades, allow large transit operators to use Federal funds for operating expenses, a game-changer for transit agencies.

Sen. Ossoff introduced the bill this summer — alongside Sens. Rev. Raphael Warnock (D-GA) and Catherine Cortez Masto (D-NV) — as part of his continued effort to increase access to public transportation, regardless of income or where you live.

Rep. Johnson introduced the companion legislation in the U.S. House of Representatives alongside Congresswoman Nikema Williams (GA-05), Congresswoman Carolyn Bourdeaux (GA-07), and Congressman Jesús “Chuy” García (IL-04).

In Georgia, lack of transit access particularly impacts low-income Georgians and Georgians of color:

  • Just one in 14 low-income households in Metro Atlanta live within a half-mile of a high-capacity transit stop.
  • 60% of Metro Atlanta residents cannot access a grocery or convenience store within 30 minutes by transit.
  • 70% of Metro Atlanta residents cannot access a single health care facility within 30 minutes by transit.
  • Two-thirds of Metro Atlanta’s transit commuters are essential workers.
  • In the City of Augusta, Black residents comprise 79% of public transit commuters.

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