The Bus Coalition and Community Transportation Association of America joined Co-Chairs Congressmen David Young (R-IA) and Rick Larsen (D-WA) to announce the official launch of the Bipartisan Congressional Bus Caucus (BCBC) this week. The purpose of BCBC is to give a stronger voice to the over 1,100 bus transit systems across the country and highlight the need for adequate federal funding of bus transit programs.
The Caucus seeks to highlight the benefits of investing in bus systems, the challenges accompanying aging bus fleets and facilities, and encourage innovation in a rapidly changing transportation climate. The Caucus will raise awareness on Capitol Hill by holding occasional events to highlight the importance of transit agencies striving to deliver reliable service and meet a state of good repair. “Many of Missouri’s transit providers manage a bus only fleet. Continued lack of funding for capital and operating are plaguing MO systems and causing disruption in service levels in many areas. Having a caucus at the federal level to represent these interests will be very important,” said Kim Cella, Executive Director of MPTA.
Buses are the unsung hero in our nation’s transportation network and provide over 51% of transit trips per year. Every day, 14.9 million passenger trips are made across the country on buses. Added together, 5.44 billion bus transit trips per year provide access for people with disabilities, cost-effective transportation for low income riders and help commuters get to work, students to school and patients to see their doctor. While buses may not get the attention of larger, urban transit modes, they are the backbone of the transit ecosystem and provide critical service in communities of all sizes.