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June 17, 2011 > BART Board endorses Make It In America legislation

BART Board endorses Make It In America legislation

Submitted By Donald Lathbury

The Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) Board has endorsed H.R. 613, The Airports, Highways, High-Speed Rail, Trains and Transit: Make It In America Act of 2011.

Congressman John Garamendi's (D-Walnut Creek, CA) Make It In America legislation would create American jobs by requiring all transportation equipment purchased with federal taxpayer dollars to be sourced with American-made goods/components. BART is California's largest transit system by ridership and the fifth largest transit system in the nation, with 44 stations and more than 350,000 weekly riders.

"It's no secret too many Americans are unemployed and that one of the reasons has been the exodus of American manufacturing overseas," said BART Director Joel Keller (District 2--Contra Costa). "This has made it difficult for transit systems like BART to purchase American-made vehicles and other products that support job creation in the US. The BART Board supports Make It In America-goals because we should not only be providing reliable public transit service to Bay Area riders but also assisting with job creation by encouraging more opportunities for greater American manufacturing. H.R. 613 (Garamendi) will help us get there."

"We know transit infrastructure projects create critical jobs in our region and nation but so should manufacturing the vehicles and products used by transportation and transit agencies daily," said BART Director Gail Murray (District 1 - Contra Costa). "We must create more opportunities for agencies like BART to purchase American products. Hence, the importance of supporting Rep. John Garamendi's H.R. 613. We must begin the process of bringing back important manufacturing that supports local jobs."

"BART understands public transit systems work when the people they serve are in gainful employment. America invests billions of dollars in transportation, annually; it just makes sense we should Make It In America to create good jobs for our local communities," said Congressman Garamendi. "I thank the BART Board for their commitment to creating new American jobs and for their support to rebuild America's manufacturing sector."

H.R. 613 would create American jobs by setting stronger standards for goods and equipment purchased with federal dollars for airports, highways, high-speed rail, trains and transit. The legislation would increase domestic content provisions for rolling stock from 60 to 100 percent over time, eliminates non-availability waivers and would create similar waiver reporting requirements across different modes of transportation. A month ago, the Obama administration called on Congress to pass legislative language that is nearly identical to H.R. 613.

For more information about the Make It In America policies, visit www.garamendi.house.gov/MakeItInAmerica.

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