Center for American Progress

RELEASE: Project 2025 Would Increase Costs for Commuters, Defund Transit Maintenance, and Undermine Economic Growth 
Press Release

RELEASE: Project 2025 Would Increase Costs for Commuters, Defund Transit Maintenance, and Undermine Economic Growth 

Washington, D.C. — Last year, an extremist think tank released Project 2025, a playbook to usher in a sweeping array of harmful far-right policy ideas. Among them is a radical plan to eliminate federal transit funding. A new Center for American Progress column explains how this proposal would devastate local transit systems, hurt tens of millions of Americans, and undermine economic growth. 

Specifically, Project 2025 calls for eliminating funding for the Federal Transit Administration’s (FTA) core formula programs and its discretionary Capital Investment Grants (CIG) program. This new analysis examines how devastating these policy changes would be on local transit systems and includes an analysis of how this would affect the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA), which serves the New York City metropolitan area. 

Some key takeaways from the article include: 

  • Eliminating billions in funding for the FTA’s core programs and its CIG program would undermine essential transportation maintenance work. Americans took more than 7 billion trips in 2023. Eliminating federal funding would severely harm the ability of local transit authorities to carry out essential maintenance work that keeps systems up and running. And cutting the CIG program would make it extremely difficult for transit providers to make major additions to their networks. 
  • Gutting FTA funds would affect millions of New York City transit users. In 2023, MTA received $2.1 billion from the FTA’s core programs to repair the subway system, buy new buses, and cover other transit capital needs. These funds represent 19 percent of MTA’s capital program and without them, MTA would be forced to defer critical maintenance, slash service, or increase fares to make up for lost funds. 
  • Slashing the FTA’s budget would force long-term projects to go without critical funding. The FTA committed $7.4 billion to help replace the Hudson River tunnels, which facilitate access into Manhattan for Amtrak and NJ Transit commuter trains. In addition to this, another $3.5 billion in FTA funds were set aside for an extension of the Second Avenue subway line. Eliminating funding for these programs would put New York City’s future in jeopardy. 
  • 57 percent of transit agencies nationally serve rural communities. In 2023, people took 7.1 billion transit trips, half of which were by bus. Gutting funds to transit systems prevents Americans living in rural communities from being connected to jobs, health care, and education. 

“Public transit is a vital component of our modern transportation system, providing affordable, safe, and efficient mobility to millions of Americans every day,” said Kevin DeGood, director of Infrastructure Policy at CAP and author of the column. “Project 2025 would badly harm local transit systems that support regional economies from coast to coast and increase costs for commuters.”

Read the column: “Project 2025 Would Increase Costs for Commuters, Defund Transit Maintenance, and Undermine Economic Growth” by Kevin DeGood

For more information or to speak with an expert, please contact Sarah Nadeau at [email protected]. 

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