Senator Reverend Warnock was joined by Sens. Ossoff and Cortez Masto in introducing bill to build public transportation serving affordable housing and low-income communities
Senator Warnock: “For many Georgians, physical mobility means social mobility. Hardworking families, from Albany to Augusta, stand to benefit from this additional transit funding that will help to connect students to their classrooms, patients to their health care facilities, and workers to their places of employment.”
Washington, D.C — Today, U.S. Senator Reverend Raphael Warnock (D-GA) introduced the Public Transportation Expansion Act alongside Sens. Jon Ossoff (D-GA) and Catherine Cortez Masto (D-NV), which 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.
Sens. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), Chris Van Hollen (D-MD), and Tina Smith (D-MN) co-sponsored the bill.
Congressman Hank Johnson (GA-04) introduced 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).
The Public Transportation Expansion Act will create a federal grant program to fund public transportation expansion to serve low-income communities and connect affordable housing with transit networks.
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.
“For many Georgians, physical mobility means social mobility. Hardworking families, from Albany to Augusta, stand to benefit from this additional transit funding that will help to connect students to their classrooms, patients to their health care facilities, and workers to their places of employment,” said Senator Reverend Warnock. “I am proud to support this legislation to ensure all Georgia riders and commuters have access to the transportation options they need to thrive.”
“I am championing historic transit investments in the reconciliation bill because mobility is essential for opportunity, health, and quality of life — especially in communities that have been historically neglected. This legislation will build public transportation to serve residents in Georgia’s low-income neighborhoods, connecting affordable housing with health care, education, and employment centers while protecting our environment by reducing air pollution,” Senator Ossoff said.
“To address the affordable housing crisis we must invest in accessible public transportation that will work to provide Nevadans a reliable and safe way to get to work and school,” said Senator Cortez Masto. “I have long pushed for federal dollars to help connect our communities so that everyone can get to their jobs, access health care, and pick up groceries, no matter where they live. This legislation will enhance our mobility and it will improve the quality of life for families across the state.“
Senator Warnock has consistently pushed for expanded transit access in the state of Georgia and nationwide. Senator Warnock recently secured a key provision in the bipartisan Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act to update and improve a key federal transportation grant program that will help strengthen public transportation in Georgia and bolster essential efforts to expand transit in communities across the state.
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