TRANSIT FUNDING -- (House of Representatives - March 11, 2004)
(Mr. PITTS asked and was given permission to address the House for 1 minute and to revise and extend his remarks.)
Mr. PITTS. Mr. Speaker, Federal transportation law currently penalizes communities like Redding and Lancaster, Pennsylvania, in my district or like South Bend, Indiana; Lubbock, Texas; Shreveport, Louisiana; Wichita, Kansas; Jackson, Mississippi; Fort Collins, Colorado; communities like them all over the country.
When these communities reach 200,000 people, transit systems in these areas are required to spend Federal money like the big-city transit system. They lose their flexibility. What they need is a small system with unique needs. They are lumped in with the New Yorks and the Philadelphias. But areas like Lancaster and Redding are nothing like Philadelphia.
As a result, people in these areas and dozens of others lose out, and that is why I introduced a bill to prevent the Federal Government from penalizing these thriving communities, the Transit Flexibility Protection Act. This bill does not authorize new money. It merely protects small transit systems and their ability to use Federal funds wisely.
If we are going to invest in public transit, we should at least do it in a way that truly promotes it in communities like these.