Arise Citizens’ Policy Project executive director Kimble Forrister issued the following statement Thursday, Feb. 22, 2018, in response to the House passage of a bill to create the Alabama Public Transportation Trust Fund:
“Creating the Alabama Public Transportation Trust Fund is an important step forward for public transportation. Today’s House vote for SB 85 brings us closer to the day when our state will finally step up and make a meaningful investment in public transportation so all Alabamians can get where they need to go in a timely manner.
“Alabama is one of only five states with no state funding for public transit. That lack of investment makes it harder for thousands of Alabamians, especially seniors and people with disabilities, to meet basic everyday needs like going to the doctor’s office or the grocery store. It also serves as a barrier to economic development, making it harder for people to get to work and costing our state tens of millions of dollars in federal matching funds every year.
“This bill does not provide state funding, but it sets the stage for needed investment by creating a landing place for future appropriations to support and expand public transportation across Alabama. We thank Sen. Rodger Smitherman and Rep. Jack D. Williams for sponsoring this important legislation, and we urge Gov. Kay Ivey to sign it into law.”