HNTB’s Diana Mendes highlights rising support for public transportation in national radio interview

Voter support on Election Day 2016 affirmed a major shift in how the public views the role and benefits of public transportation

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (Dec. 15, 2016) – Diana Mendes, AICP, HNTB senior vice president and national transit/rail practice leader, discussed the changing landscape of public transportation today on “The Morning Briefing with Tim Farley,” a national non-partisan radio program. The interview can be heard here.

According to Mendes, in the wake of Election Day 2016, public transportation emerged as the clear winner. There were a historic number of transit-related funding initiatives on ballots across the nation (49), of which about 70 percent passed. This means that there will be about $170 billion in new funding for systems that provide Americans with mobility options ranging from commuter and light rail trains to subways, buses and other transit services.

In the interview with Farley, Mendes expressed that support for public transportation has never been greater. “By getting America moving, we create jobs, we make people’s quality of life better, and we can all enjoy a greater time of prosperity.” 

Mendes indicated much of the additional funding will go toward high-capacity improvements in rail and buses, and filling critical links. She added, “Our definition of public transit is really changing with the emergence of new technologies; people have more options than ever to use public transportation. We see suburban and rural areas also benefitting.” This echoes what Mendes recently wrote in an opinion-based Viewpoint titled “Why voters said ‘yes’ to public transportation on November 8.”

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