Yesterday Congressman Carnahan held a press conference honoring the filing of HR 3200 – “The Local Flexibility for Transit Assistance Act.” CMT Executive Director Kimberly Cella joined Carnahan, Linda Dopuch (MCU), and John Nations (Metro) in speaking at the event. Below are her remarks:
Good morning, I am Kim Cella, executive Director of Citizens for Modern Transit. CMT is the nationally recognized transit advocacy organization in St. Louis representing more than 15,000 constituents from business, to labor, to contractors, to academic institutions, to local municipalities to everyday citizens who support an integrated, expanded transit system for the region.
I am happy to be here this morning representing both Citizens for Modern Transit and the Greater St. Louis Transit Alliance. We believe that transit is KEY to creating and maintaining JOBS, building healthy, vibrant communities, and creating a more livable, sustainable accessible St. Louis.
Transportation drives development. I just returned from the Rail~Volution conference yesterday in D. C. and repeatedly, the transportation experts said cited the fact that the economic growth occurring around this country is happening around Transit STOPS. TRANSIT is the key to development and social equity.
We worked very hard in 2010 to ensure that Proposition A passed. We know that not all of St. Louis rides transit, but we all NEED transit. That is why we continue to push for an expanded system that creates these opportunities for development, for jobs and for a better quality of life in St. Louis.
And This is why we are so pleased to be here today. Congressman Carnahan has worked with the partners here today as well as other national partners to draft legislation that strengthens transit in our region. This bill would provide transit systems such as Metro with local control of their federal transit funds, allowing the people who know the needs of the area best to make the decisions. It also allows agencies like Metro to preserve critical service and stabilize fares during tough economic times ENSURING working people access to quality, affordable public transportation.
CMT’s new call to action this year is Take A Seat, Make a Stand, Ride Transit. This legislation makes a STAND for transit riders in this region and across the country. Congressman Carnahan, thank you for your work on behalf of CMT, the St. Louis Transit Alliance and the region.