The world is changing in ways that demand a bold new vision for mobility based on clean, reliable public transportation. The 20th century dream of a car in every driveway has become unsustainable. Our cities have been turned into parking lots, our “freeways” are clogged with stop-and-go traffic, our air is polluted with gases and particulates that cause cancer and asthma, and our climate – planet-wide – is changing in ways that increase the frequency of dangerous weather events and threaten our coastlines and economies. The largest source of greenhouse gas emissions in Erie County is not electrical energy generation or industry, but rather transportation (at 40%, primarily from cars). If we expect people to drive less, alternatives must be provided.
Statement by Citizens for Regional Transit President Doug Funke:
"As the President of Citizens for Regional Transit, I want to personally thank Assemblyman Sean Ryan and Assemblywoman Karen McMahon for their leadership and support for public transportation in Buffalo-Niagara, and specifically for their effort to increase state financial support for NFTA maintenance, operations and capital improvements. Without an increase in state transit operating assistance (STOA), which have not kept up with our cumulative maintenance needs for many years, our bus and rail system will continue to degrade, as will the public transportation service that we all depend on. Lack of adequate funding for public transportation invariably leads to more deferred maintenance and degraded service, and ultimately digs a deeper and deeper fiscal hole to dig out of. Further, an inability to keep up with system maintenance and needed capital investments, not only degrades transit service, it also jeopardizes our ability to qualify for the federal funds needed for critical projects like the Buffalo-Amherst extension. Leadership and support from Assemblyman Ryan and Assemblywoman McMahon are critical and greatly appreciated.
We have a new petition out to call upon the Erie County Legislature to begin significant investments in sustainable public transit.
A statement from CRT President Doug Funke
Dump The Pump (DTP) Day is June 21st. This is when we minimize car-based (fossil-fuel-intensive) travel as a way to: (1) highlight approaches for, and the importance of, reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) generation; and (2) begin breaking our fossil fuel intensive travel habits.
This year, Citizens for Regional Transit (CRT) Executive Board members have pledged to minimize car-based travel by taking transit on DTP Day and throughout DTP Week (June 18th through 22nd). Please join us in leaving our cars at home and walking, biking or taking transit to work and appointments. Take the pledge here.
Promoting the use of transit is especially important now as we face unprecedented threats to the planet from climate change. County Executive Poloncarz’s January 2018 “Erie County Commits to Paris” report makes clear that meeting the Paris Climate Accord emission reduction goals will require changes in how we travel. With 40% of Erie County’s GHG production coming from the transportation sector (the largest contributing sector), moving people from car-based travel to public transit is essential. As French President Macron put it, “there is no Planet B.”
We hope you will join us in dumping the pump during DTP Week. See you on the bus and train!
This was presented by CRT President Doug Funke during our May 1, 2018 Quarterly Meeting at First Presbyterian Church.