Brown Toledo Bus

TOLEDO, OHToday, U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) traveled to northwest Ohio to tour the Toledo Area Regional Transit Authority (TARTA). The historic, bipartisan infrastructure bill, which Brown helped write and pass, includes more than $50 million to expand service for job training and for new pollution-free vehicles in Toledo.

“Transit is all about the Dignity of Work – it creates jobs, it connects people with jobs, it draws in investment to help cities like Toledo grow and create opportunity. Toledo understands that connection better than just about anywhere,” said Brown. “Whether it’s downtown Toledo or the major jobs and manufacturing centers opening up nearby – there’s a reason that employers and entrepreneurs and workers have all been asking for better transit.”

The Bipartisan Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act will provide a record $39 billion investment in public transit funding over the next five years. Ohio will receive $1.3 billion, with $51 million of that going to Toledo.

The bill would enable transit agencies to apply for grants to upgrade their fleets with pollution-free vehicles, and to train employees on how to use the new transit technology.

Brown was joined at the event by local transit leaders, and union employees who spoke on the difference the investment will make for the community.

“The TARTA fleet has suffered from years of underinvestment, which has put up an unnecessary roadblock for people in Toledo’s disabled, aging, and disadvantaged communities trying to take advantage of the opportunities this area offers. We appreciate Senator Brown’s efforts and support to bringing a much-needed financial boost to help TARTA and transits systems around the country through the new infrastructure bill funding,” said Laura Koprowski, CEO, TARTA.

“The timing of the infrastructure bill is fantastic with the new sales tax levy, I think that’s going to be a huge jumpstart to what TARTA is trying to do,” said Mark McGuire, an electrician and member of TAAP/UAW Local 5242 for the past 20 years at TARTA. “I’m hoping we can make a huge transition into the 21st century.”

“The legislation provides a security for the future of transit workers as we transition away from traditional diesel fueled coaches. We can now be a part of a just transition to low/no emission fleet,” said Carly Allen, President of ATU Local 697.

The bipartisan infrastructure and jobs bill will make needed investments in Ohio, including:

  • Fixing highways, rebuild bridges, and upgrade ports, airports and transit systems
  • Delivering clean drinking water, a renewed electric grid, and high-speed broadband to all Americans
  • Revitalizing manufacturing, secure U.S. supply chains, invest in R&D, and train Americans for the jobs of the future
  • Creating good-quality jobs that pay prevailing wages in safe and healthy workplaces while ensuring workers have a free and fair choice to organize, join a union, and bargain collectively with their employers
  • Solidifying the infrastructure of our care economy by creating jobs and raising wages and benefits for essential home care workers, the majority of whom are women of color

Specifically, the bill includes:

Brown’s Bridge Investment Act, which will provide $12.5 billion in funding to repair and replace nationally and regionally significant bridges, like the Brent Spence Bridge in Ohio—part of the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act’s historic investment.  The package also provides Ohio $9.8 billion of formula funding to repair, replace, and upgrade roads and bridges throughout the state.

Brown’s Build America Buy America Act, which will apply strong Buy America rules to all taxpayer-funded infrastructure and public works projects.

$89.9 billion in funding to provide a record investment in public transit, including $1.286 billion for Ohio transit agencies:

$65 billion in funding to help communities improve access to high-speed broadband.

$55.4 billion in funding to help communities improve local water and sewer systems.

$7.5 billion to support and bolster electric vehicle (EV) and alternative charging infrastructure, which will create good-paying jobs.