U.S. Senator Jon Ossoff’s Local Transit Planning Support Act passed the U.S. Senate last week as part of the bipartisan Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act.

The bill will increase funding to plan transit and transportation development in both low-income and low-density areas and boost economic opportunity and quality of life in urban and rural communities that have historically been underserved and lack access to public transportation.

“We are delivering a generational investment in transit and transportation for all our communities,” Sen. Ossoff said. “I worked hard to ensure the Local Transit Planning Support Act has been included in this bipartisan infrastructure package to ensure all communities — especially for those that have been left out — expand transportation infrastructure and economic opportunity.”

Leaders from across Georgia praised Sen. Ossoff’s bill when it was introduced last month, pointing to the impact it would have in their communities:

“Access to reliable public transit is essential for low and moderate income communities in Savannah and across our state, and Sen. Ossoff’s Local Transit Planning Support Act will give metro planning organizations, like ours, the tools they need to expand transit for more Georgia workers and families,” Savannah Mayor Van Johnson said. “This bill promotes equity in our community and will boost our local economy – let’s get it done.”

“For low-income families in Augusta, access to transit means access to jobs, child care, education, and more,” said Augusta Mayor Hardie Davis Jr. “Sen. Ossoff’s new bill to increase funding for metro planning organizations that serve low-income communities will help ensure transit options are available for the Georgians who need it most, and I applaud his efforts on this innovative legislation.”

“Sen. Ossoff’s legislation to promote transit equity will bring more economic opportunity to the Macon-Bibb County area and give low-income Georgians increased access to good-paying jobs, education, and child care. Expanding access to transit for low-income and low-population areas will benefit everyone across central Georgia, and I’m proud to work with Sen. Ossoff to get his bill passed,” said Mayor of Macon-Bibb County, Lester Miller.

“In Valdosta, we’ve seen the positive effects of expanded transit options firsthand, and Sen. Ossoff’s new bill to increase federal funding for transit access in low-population areas will continue that important work and give more Georgians a shot at success,” said Sandra Tooley, Valdosta City Councilwoman. “His Local Transit Planning Support Act is good for Valdosta, and we’re proud to support him in his work to get it signed into law. I want to again thank Sen. Ossoff for all his support that he is providing the citizens of Valdosta.”

“Access to public transit is a key indicator of economic and financial stability. Athens-Clarke County is excited to partner with Sen. Ossoff on this new legislation to ensure our planning organization has the boost it needs to help bring transit options into the communities that have historically been underserved,” Athens-Clarke County Mayor Kelly Girtz said.

United States Senator Jon Ossoff speaks during a press conference at the Atlanta Beltline headquarters on Friday, May 21, 2021. (Photo: Itoro N. Umontuen/The Atlanta Voice)