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TRANSPORTATION TODAY: Bipartisan Group of Lawmakers introduce legislation supporting transit in smaller communities

U.S. Reps. Rodney Davis (R-IL), Greg Stanton (D-AZ), Steven Palazzo (R-MS), and Jimmy Panetta (D-CA) announced Tuesday that they had introduced legislation to increase funding for transit systems in small communities.

The Small Community Transit Improvement Act, H.R. 2306, would increase the apportionment for the Small Transit Intensive Cities Program (STIC) from 2 percent to 3 percent to urban areas with populations of less than 200,000.

“The Small Transit Intensive Cities Program (STIC), which rewards high performing small transit systems, has been incredibly successful over the years at supporting transit in communities in central Illinois and across the country,” said Davis, ranking member of the Subcommittee on Highways and Transit. “I have four prime examples of cities in my district that have benefited from this program, including Bloomington-Normal, Champaign-Urbana, Springfield, and Decatur. Our bipartisan bill ensures funding for this program is keeping up with demand so we can continue to help successful, small transit systems like these make investments to improve efficiency and service.”

Lawmakers said the legislation would increase support for transit in small communities without the need for new funding. Congress previously raised the STIC set aside from 1.5 percent to 2 percent. An increase to 3 percent, the legislators said, would provide a “much-needed boost” for successful transit providers in smaller communities.

“We’re taking steps to improve access to great public transportation options in communities of all sizes,” said Stanton, a member of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee. “By increasing the funding available to support small transit systems in Arizona communities such as Flagstaff, we can help them serve more riders and bounce back strong after this pandemic.”