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Trump Administration Puts Covid Funding at Risk for Transit in 'Anarchist Jurisdictions'

A September 2 memo by the Trump administration warned of punitive actions against New York City, Seattle, Portland, and Washington, D.C. A recently announced federal funding opportunity makes good on the threat.
October 15, 2020, 7am PDT | James Brasuell | @CasualBrasuell
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New York Public Transit
Emily Geraghty

"In an obscure Federal Transit Administration document issued a week ago, the agency appears to be making good on Trump’s threat to defund cities that he tarred as 'anarchist jurisdictions' because they didn’t put down civil rights protests and violence associated with them quickly enough," report Michael Gartland and Clayton Guse.

"The document, an FTA notice of funding opportunity, appears to be the first and so far only notice in the federal government’s public document database that references Trump’s Sept. 2 memo threatening to cut funding to big cities," according to the article.

The September 2 memo called out New York City, Seattle, Portland, and Washington, D.C. as "anarchist jurisdictions."

"The notice was published on Oct. 8 to alert local governments of a $10 million federal grant to develop ways to improve 'the operational efficiency of transit agencies, as well as enhance the mobility of transit users affected by the COVID-19 public health emergency.'"

The National Association of City Transportation Officials (NACTO) has also weighed in on the Trump administration's latest anti-urban, anti-transit action, accusing the Trump Administration of "using arbitrary and politically-motivated pretext to deny cities and transit agencies the funding they need to make transit safer amidst the ongoing pandemic."

The statement of opposition from NACTO is also signed by TransitCenter, Transportation for America, and the National Resources Defense Council (NRDC).

"Denying transit agencies funding obstructs their ability to develop best practices to make transit safer for millions of riders and workers, and the people with whom they interact. The Metropolitan Transportation Authority in New York, TriMet in Portland, and King County Metro and Sound Transit in Seattle together make up nearly half of national transit ridership and have already made major contributions to our understanding of how to keep riders and operators safe from the virus," reads the statement.

Full Story:
Published on Wednesday, October 14, 2020 in The New York Daily News
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