Smart Growth America is excited to announce the selection of five jurisdictions to participate in the Arts & Transportation Rapid Response initiative. Over the next few months, these jurisdictions will implement artist-led projects to address COVID-19 transportation challenges.
Our economy is at a virtual standstill because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Millions of Americans have lost their jobs and healthcare. Businesses of all sizes are facing an existential threat. Local municipal budgets are being gutted. As we hope for light at the end of the tunnel we’ll need to craft a smart recovery. We leaned on our experience with the stimulus of 2009 and our long expertise in infrastructure and community development to produce a package of federal policy recommendations Congress should consider to build the foundation for a long-lasting recovery.
The economic collapse brought on by the spread of COVID-19 has necessitated urgent action to protect our economy, but we must invest wisely. Funds must go to investments that build lasting economic prosperity and ultimately help all Americans have the opportunity to live in a place that is healthy, prosperous, and resilient. While many sectors of our economy are in need of support, we encourage policy makers to provide support for infrastructure and community revitalization programs.
Early yesterday morning, congressional leaders and the White House agreed to a $2 trillion COVID-19 economic stabilization plan that includes $25 billion emergency direct assistance to transit agencies, at a time when agencies’ revenue is plummeting, as well as more than $1 billion for passenger rail. This is a huge victory, and it wouldn’t have been possible without your messages and calls to Congress. But there’s still more work to do.
Senate republicans have unveiled their $1 trillion economic stimulus plan and not a single dollar is dedicated to supporting transit or Amtrak. This is unacceptable. Without action now some of the hardest-hit transit agencies won’t be able to recover, even if transit is included in a fourth stimulus package.