September 10, 2021

Cortez Masto, Colleagues Introduce Historic Transit Expansion Legislation As Congress Drafts Reconciliation Measure

Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator Catherine Cortez Masto (D-Nev.) joined Senators Jon Ossoff (D-Ga.) and Reverend Raphael Warnock (D-Ga.) to introduce the Public Transportation Expansion Act, which would for the first time fund construction of public transportation specifically connecting affordable housing with transit networks in order to serve riders and commuters in low-income communities.

“To address the affordable housing crisis we must invest in accessible public transportation that will work to provide Nevadans a reliable and safe way to get to work and school,” said Senator Cortez Masto. “I have long pushed for federal dollars to help connect our communities so that everyone can get to their jobs, access health care, and pick up groceries, no matter where they live. This legislation will enhance our mobility and it will improve the quality of life for families across the state.”

The Public Transportation Expansion Act will create a Federal grant program to fund public transportation expansion to serve low-income communities and connect affordable housing with transit networks. The bill would also, for the first time in decades, allow large transit operators to use federal funds for operating expenses, a game-changer for transit agencies. Sens. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.), and Tina Smith (D-Minn.) co-sponsored the bill. Congressman Hank Johnson (GA-04) introduced companion legislation in the U.S. House of Representatives alongside Congresswoman Nikema Williams (GA-05), Congresswoman Carolyn Bourdeaux (GA-07), and Congressman Jesús “Chuy” García (IL-04).

As part of her Innovation State Initiative, Senator Cortez Masto consistently worked to connect Nevadans to new public transportation options. From her seat on the Senate Banking committee she has called for robust investment in projects linking affordable housing to public transportation and she recently introduced legislation to incentivize the coordinated development of affordable housing and transit. She led a bill, which was included in the bipartisan infrastructure package, that encourages cities to integrate transportation between homes and jobs for easier commuting. She also has introduced multiple pieces of legislation promoting transportation solutions, and worked across the aisle to help rural communities fund and improve local infrastructure like public transit.