Photo: Hope Wright
Last week, Sustain Charlotte signed a letter titled "Vote NO on Defunding Clean Transportation Programs." The letter, spearheaded by the Clean Vehicles Campaign legislative group, urges U.S. House representatives to oppose cuts currently included in the FY2024 Transportation, Housing, and Urban Development appropriations bill (H.R. 4820). The bill proposes cutting transit capital investment grants by 82 percent and completely eliminating the Rebuilding American Infrastructure with Sustainability and Equity (RAISE) grant program.
In 2021, Charlotte Area Transit System (CATS) received a $15M RAISE grant to redevelop the uptown transit center (CTC). In order to continue improving and expanding our transit services, CATS will depend on RAISE grants and others like it. Cutting these crucial federal funding opportunities will hamstring public transportation improvements during a critical time in our city's growth.
The bill also stalls the proposed Greenhouse Gas (GHG) Emissions Performance Measure which would require State Departments of Transportation to measure and report emissions while also setting carbon reduction targets. This rule supports funding for battery-electric buses and other clean energy technologies that we need to reach the goals laid out in Charlotte's Strategic Energy Action Plan (SEAP).
We signed this letter because we support federal funding for transit expansion and clean technologies that reduce greenhouse gas emissions. We know our region is growing and with it the need for clean public transportation. Now is the time to invest in infrastructure and transportation, not cut back.