Throwback Thursday: 2011 a memorable year for DART chief, public transportation funding

DART President and Executive Director Gary Thomas rides on a DART train in November 2011.

DART President and Executive Director Gary Thomas rides on a DART train in November 2011.

Public transportation as a whole and DART President and Executive Director Gary Thomas had a very good 2011. This is the year when Thomas, who has been at the helm of DART since 2001, was elected the Chair of the American Public Transportation Association (APTA). APTA is a national organization representing more than 1,500 public and private organizations affiliated with public transit.

That year also proved to be a big one for the future of public transportation. In November, Senators Barbara Boxer and James Inhofe initially introduced a two-year reauthorization of the U.S. surface transportation programs (including the Highway Trust Fund) with the Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act (or MAP-21). This bill was eventually signed into law by President Obama in 2012 and is the last long-term funding extension for the Highway Trust Fund.

The Highway Trust Fund is running out of money, and public transportation agencies need access to those funds to pay for new capital projects and maintain infrastructure.

DART urges lawmakers to pass a new long-term, fully funded surface transportation bill that increases investment to support our nation’s transportation infrastructure. To join us and to contact our Congressional delegation, please visit: http://voicesforpublictransit.org/.

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