Alabama’s public transportation shortfall is hurting people, communities and the economy. Many seniors, people with disabilities, and people with low incomes rely on public transit to go to work, get to the doctor and run essential errands. But Alabama provides no state money to help meet those needs. Here’s why our state should make this investment in a stronger economy and better quality of life:
- Alabama is one of only five states that provide no state funding for public transportation. All four of our neighboring states do.
- Alabama leaves millions in federal matching funds on the table every year. The federal government can grant $4 for every $1 the state spends on buses. And federal funds can double state investment in operations.
- Every $1 million spent on operations creates 50 jobs. These jobs provide good benefits and an average operator’s salary of more than $70,000.
- Alabama’s public transit options are limited because of the lack of funds. No service in Alabama operates past 11 p.m., even on weekends. Rural van routes may be booked up weeks in advance. And Alabama has cities with more than 30,000 people where no general public transit option exists.
- Seven rural hospitals have closed since 2011, and many others are at risk. These closures have increased the strain on rural public transportation by leaving many Alabamians farther away from health care facilities.
State funding for public transportation would expand opportunity and connectivity across Alabama. With a General Fund appropriation to the Public Transportation Trust Fund, our state could create jobs, fuel economic growth and help people get where they need to go.