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CRT Statement on Proposal for Increased State Transit Operating Assistance

Statement by Citizens for Regional Transit President Doug Funke:

"As the President of Citizens for Regional Transit, I want to personally thank Assemblyman Sean Ryan and Assemblywoman Karen McMahon for their leadership and support for public transportation in Buffalo-Niagara, and specifically for their effort to increase state financial support for NFTA maintenance, operations and capital improvements. Without an increase in state transit operating assistance (STOA), which have not kept up with our cumulative maintenance needs for many years, our bus and rail system will continue to degrade, as will the public transportation service that we all depend on. Lack of adequate funding for public transportation invariably leads to more deferred maintenance and degraded service, and ultimately digs a deeper and deeper fiscal hole to dig out of. Further, an inability to keep up with system maintenance and needed capital investments, not only degrades transit service, it also jeopardizes our ability to qualify for the federal funds needed for critical projects like the Buffalo-Amherst extension. Leadership and support from Assemblyman Ryan and Assemblywoman McMahon are critical and greatly appreciated.

I also want to applaud Sean and Karen’s specific inclusion of financial support for the purchasing of zero-emission buses and associated charging equipment, as a part of their financial proposal. With 40% of green house gas generation in Erie County coming from the transportation sector, moving from car-based travel to public transportation is critical for meeting Erie County’s commitment to achieving the goals of the Paris Climate Accord. Transit provides significant reductions in greenhouse gas generation compared to personal cars. And by transitioning to non-polluting, zero-emission buses, the improvements are even more significant. We thank Assemblyman Ryan and Assemblywoman McMahon for their leadership and commitment to better public transportation in Buffalo-Niagara."

Dump the Pump Day

A statement from CRT President Doug Funke

Dump The Pump (DTP) Day is June 21st. This is when we minimize car-based (fossil-fuel-intensive) travel as a way to: (1) highlight approaches for, and the importance of, reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) generation; and (2) begin breaking our fossil fuel intensive travel habits.

This year, Citizens for Regional Transit (CRT) Executive Board members have pledged to minimize car-based travel by taking transit on DTP Day and throughout DTP Week (June 18th through 22nd). Please join us in leaving our cars at home and walking, biking or taking transit to work and appointments. Take the pledge here.

Promoting the use of transit is especially important now as we face unprecedented threats to the planet from climate change. County Executive Poloncarz’s January 2018 “Erie County Commits to Paris” report makes clear that meeting the Paris Climate Accord emission reduction goals will require changes in how we travel. With 40% of Erie County’s GHG production coming from the transportation sector (the largest contributing sector), moving people from car-based travel to public transit is essential. As French President Macron put it, “there is no Planet B.”

We hope you will join us in dumping the pump during DTP Week. See you on the bus and train!

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