Administrator Peter Rogoff Delivers Remarks at VIA Transit - San Antonio, TX


10-04-10

Administrator Peter Rogoff Remarks at
VIA Transit for Grant Announcement - $7 Million
State of Good Repair Grants – San Antonio, TX
October 4, 2010

Thank you Congressmen, good afternoon everybody. 

This truly is a great day for transit in Bexar County in San Antonio. 

It’s a great day for cleaner air for the children of Bexar County in San Antonio. It’s a great day for the workers of VIA and the riders of VIA.

I’m pleased on behalf of President Obama and Secretary LaHood to announce the award of $7.1 million to VIA, the largest federal grant that they’ve ever received (applause).

VIA and the people of San Antonio are receiving this money because they deserve it. They deserve it because as the Congressman pointed out they’ve been doing a lot with very little in keeping their buses on the road, on servicing the people of the community and that in an area of growth such as this there’s a lot more that needs to be done.  It all can’t happen on the backs of the workers of VIA as hard as they work.   President Obama and Secretary LaHood…the President was a regular transit rider…he knows the importance of regular reliable bus service to the quality of life of everyday Americans. 

The transit riders of America want bus service that is clean and safe but more than anything else they need bus service that is reliable. 

Reliable bus service means getting to work on time, it means picking up your kid at daycare on time, it means being able to get home on time and supervise homework and having a family life.  It’s real essential to the quality of life for people of the community. That can’t happen out of thin air. 

It requires resources, it requires the resources that are put together by the rate payers of San Antonio and Bexar County, it’s required through public grants whether they’re federal grants, state grants, local grants, it’s a partnership. 

And we’re just very pleased to be here to be an essential partner today to be help move transit in San Antonio forward.  

As I pointed out we have a great challenge as a nation when it comes to the state of good repair of our transit systems.

We did a study last year that revealed that nationwide when you include both rail systems and bus systems we’ve got a deferred maintenance backlog of $78 billion and as the workers of VIA and almost any transit agency in America will tell you, some of these maintenance type investments are the ones that often get put aside year after year after year.  They’re expensive, they’re not just something that the passengers see on a daily basis but they are essential for us to turn out service that’s reliable and safe.  That’s what these investments are going to do. 

That’s what this $7.1 million is going to do for transit riders in San Antonio. 

So on behalf of the President, on behalf of Secretary LaHood I again want to commend the leadership of the workers and the leadership of VIA.  I also want to point that these are the very kinds of investments that we’re also making through our Recovery Act.

Public transit, also part of the recovery act, saw an 80% increase in funding in a single year.  That came as a result of the leadership that the President has shown, the importance that the President has attached to public transportation – it’s also a function of the importance that the Appropriations Committees of the House and Senate of which Mr. Rodriguez is a member, attached to our programs.

 I want to commend both Congressman Gonzalez and Congressman Rodriguez for their courageous vote in providing this funding and providing funding under the recovery act so we can continue to move public transit forward in Bexar County in San Antonio.

Thanks very much (applause).

 

Administrator Peter Rogoff Remarks at
VIA Transit for Grant Announcement of $7 Million in
State of Good Repair Grants – San Antonio, TX
October 4, 2010