“Georgia’s mobility crisis disproportionately impacts people of color in our state,” the delegation wrote
Washington, D.C. –– Today, U.S. Senator Jon Ossoff led every Democratic member of the Georgia Congressional delegation in a unified call for additional funding for transit and transportation in Georgia in the upcoming budget reconciliation bill, citing the disproportionate impact on low-income, Black, and Latino Georgians of a lack of adequate public transit funding.
Sen. Rev. Raphael Warnock and Representatives Sanford D. Bishop, Jr. (GA-02), Hank Johnson (GA-04), Nikema Williams (GA-05), Lucy McBath (GA-06), Carolyn Bourdeaux (GA-07), and David Scott (GA-13) joined Sen. Ossoff in asking Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, and the Senate and House Chairs responsible for transit funding, Rep. Peter DeFazio and Sen. Sherrod Brown, to dedicate at least $30 billion to transit in order to help low-income Georgians access public transportation options.
The Georgia leaders wrote, “Our working-class constituents, especially people of color, are counting on us to make a transformative investment in mobility for low-income Georgians.”
Low-income Georgians and Georgians of color are disproportionately affected by the lack of current transit options, for example:
- In Atlanta, only one-in-14 low-income households lives within a half-mile of a high-capacity transit stop.
- 60% of Atlanta residents cannot access a grocery or convenience store within 30 minutes by transit.
- In the City of Augusta, Black residents comprise 79% of public transit commuters.
- Black Americans are three times less likely to own a car than white Americans and, among urban residents, Latino Americans are twice as likely compared to white Americans to regularly use public transit.
The group also noted the bipartisan infrastructure bill fell far short of President Biden’s original proposal to Congress.
“While the bipartisan Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act was an important first step towards making necessary investments in transit, that legislation included $46 billion less for transit than was proposed in President Biden’s American Jobs Plan and a level of funding that is insufficient to meet the mobility needs of our communities and respond to the climate crisis,” the Georgia leaders continued.
They argue that the Georgians who delivered the Senate majority — from Atlanta, to Augusta, to Valdosta — are counting on Congress to make this once-in-a-generation transit investment.
“Access to mobility is a vital condition of health and opportunity,”Sen. Ossoff and the delegation concluded. “We have a historic opportunity to make a transformative investment in mobility for low-income Georgians and people across the country. We therefore urge that this measure include an allocation of at least $30 billion for transit in reconciliation.”
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