CANTON – U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown used Tuesday morning's visit to the headquarters of the Stark Area Regional Transit Authority to highlight the roughly $39 billion that would fund public transit nationwide if the U.S. House approves a $1.2 trillion bipartisan infrastructure bill passed by the Senate nearly a month ago.

Both Brown, a Democrat from Cleveland, and U.S. Sen. Rob Portman, Republican from Cincinnati, voted for the bill on Aug. 10.

Brown spent just less than an hour at the SARTA headquarters facility at Gateway Boulevard SE before heading to an event in Mansfield.

He chatted with SARTA CEO Kirt Conrad and Joe Risby, president of the AFSCME Local 1880, which represents bus drivers, mechanics and other union employees.

He asked a lot of questions related to work experiences and the challenges of transitioning to zero-emission technology of SARTA employees who stood in the agency's bus garage. Mark Finnicum, SARTA's chief operations officers, showed how SARTA employees pump hydrogen into the agency's buses from SARTA's filling station.

"Our infrastructure in this country used to be the envy of the world. Our grandparents built it. But we haven't maintained it. Our roads, our airports, our bridges, our water and sewer systems. We have too much lead in too many pipes. We have too many communities without broadband. We haven't invested enough in new transit technology," Brown said.

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