Award–winning journalist Andrea Bernstein is Senior Editor for Politics & Policy for WNYC News. She has previously served as Metro Editor, Political Director, Director of Transportation Nation, and Senior Reporter.
Despite unhopeful signs from Congress, the Obama administration is continuing its drumbeat of support for the American Jobs Act. Deputy Transportation Secretary John Porcari will be in New York Tuesday at a conference on transit and jobs. Today Pocari held a conference call with BlueGreen Alliance Senior Policy Analyst Brian J. Lombardozzi to push the idea that transit creates jobs.
"Transit is literally connecting people with opportunities," Pocari said, "It's connecting people to jobs, to school, to the grocery story. It's an economic lifeline to the American poulation."
Pocari said, "If you are honest with yourself, you'll realize any transit system was built and paid for by our parents and grandparents."
Pocari said the American Jobs Act
would spend $2 billion on maintaining a state of good repair. Update from the DOT. The American Jobs Act has $9 billion for repairing roads and bridges. That money, Porcari said, could quickly and easily into the economy, creating jobs.
Earlier this year, the Federal Transit Administration, Peter Rogoff, said $78 billion is needed to bring the nation's seven largest transit systems into a state of good repair.
But even that $2 billion looks like an uphill battle. When an Associated Press reporter asked Pocari about Congressional proposals for "big cuts in transit," and about the politics of getting the jobs act passed, he didn't answer directly saying, "We want to make sure local leaders have the flexibility to determine what's appropriate. We would not try and dictate what's best."