Harrisburg, PA – Capital Area Transit (CAT) will participate in this year’s National Infrastructure Week (NIW), May 16 – 23, to bring broader attention to the need to consistently invest and maintain the nation’s aging infrastructure, including one of central Pennsylvania’s most valuable assets – its public transportation systems, according to Bill Jones, CAT general manager.
“After decades of inadequate investment, the American infrastructure that our communities and businesses rely on to grow and prosper is crumbling in many areas,” Jones said today. “Investment in our infrastructure, particularly in public transit, is a key ingredient to help people get to jobs and to drive growth in our communities.”
This year’s fourth annual National Infrastructure Week brings together America’s business, labor and policy-making leadership, and it includes more than 100 affiliate organizations from all sectors of America’s economy and society. CAT is participating as a member of the American Public Transportation Association (APTA), which is an affiliate member of NIW.
National Infrastructure Week is the largest, most diverse, non-partisan coalition of organizations dedicated to strengthening America by rebuilding the nation’s infrastructure. “Increasing investment in public transit is an important step to truly improving the condition of our nation’s transportation infrastructure,” Jones noted. “We will not have the transportation network our community and our nation needs until everyone has access to safe, affordable and reliable public transportation that connects people to jobs, commerce and valuable services, bringing communities together more efficiently.”
According to the latest data from 2013, the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) says that more than 40 percent of buses and 25 percent of rail transit assets were in marginal or poor condition. The FTA also notes there is an $86 billion backlog in deferred maintenance and replacement needs.
While passage of the federal FAST Act was a step in the right direction, estimates to meet current national public transportation demand will require a capital investment over six years by all levels of government in the amount of $43 billion annually, according to APTA and American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials’ Bottom Line Report. Currently, the U.S. invests only $17.7 billion annually.
“As the demand for public transportation increases across the region, our systems are strained and in need of increased investment.” CAT is currently operating out of a Cameron Street facility in a Harrisburg flood plain originally designed to maintain trolley cars at the beginning of the last century.
National Infrastructure Week is a national week of events, media coverage, education and advocacy efforts to elevate infrastructure as a critical issue impacting all Americans. For more information go to www.infrastructureweek.org.
Capital Area Transit was incorporated in 1973 when Cumberland County and Dauphin County Commissioners and the City of Harrisburg organized CAT to provide mass transit Fixed-Route and Paratransit shared-ride services, which today conveniently and safely transport about 2.5 million riders a year in the thousand square mile capital region. Visit www.cattransit.com, follow CAT on Facebook or Twitter at @CATTransit, or call CAT’s Public Information Office at 717-238-8304 for more information. “Where CAT Goes, Community Grows.”
Robert J. Philbin
Public Information & Customer Experience
CAPITAL AREA TRANSIT
Cumberland-Dauphin-Harrisburg Transit Authority
901 N. Cameron St.
Harrisburg, PA 17101