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Reconciliation: A last chance for transit, climate, and equity in America’s infrastructure program

Sep 15, 2021

Corinne Kisner, Executive Director, and Janette Sadik-Khan, Chair of the National Association of City Transportation Officials (NACTO), today issued the following statement in response to the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee’s advancement of the Build Back Better Act:

NACTO strongly supports the House’s forward-thinking proposals that would strengthen the infrastructure bill and squarely address the safety, access, climate and equity crises American transportation faces today. The House’s proposed $18 billion for transit, community climate incentive grants, and neighborhood access and equity grants—less than 1% of the potentially $3.5 trillion bill—represents one of the best chances we have for meaningful action on these goals. Congress must preserve these critical provisions for America to have a more fair, accessible, and sustainable transportation system that connects people to opportunities rather than cutting them off from them.

The House’s proposal restores $10 billion for transit that was cut from the infrastructure bill, focusing the funding where it is needed the most, and expanding how those funds can be used (including, critically, for operating transit service). Providing Americans with reliable public transit options is fundamental for the economic recovery by getting people back to work while tackling climate change. This program provides key support for essential workers—who are most likely to take transit—and help expand access to opportunities for all Americans.

Other thoughtfully crafted provisions include funds to establish a greenhouse-gas performance measure (we can’t improve what we don’t set goals for), grants that reward states for climate action, and dedicated funding for dismantling infrastructure like highways that divide communities. These programs link transit, housing, access, and equity with the necessary funding to deliver real change, connecting communities across America while addressing the climate emergency.

Importantly, the proposed programs provide cities—the governments most in touch with and responsive to their residents—funding, technical assistance, and a real say in the projects that will be built in their backyards.

NACTO urges Congress to support this visionary legislation, which promises to have the most impact per dollar of any federal transportation policy proposed in decades.


About the National Association of City Transportation Officials (NACTO)
NACTO is an association of 91 major North American cities and transit agencies formed to exchange transportation ideas, insights, and practices and cooperatively approach national transportation issues. The organization’s mission is to build cities as places for people, with safe, sustainable, accessible, and equitable transportation choices that support a strong economy and vibrant quality of life. To learn more, visit or follow us on Twitter at @NACTO.

Alex Engel | [email protected]

For Immediate Release
September 15, 2021