March 03, 2022

Duckworth, Buttigieg Discuss How Bipartisan Infrastructure Law is Prioritizing Local Hiring & Improving Transit Accessibility


[WASHINGTON, D.C.] — At today’s U.S. Senate Environment & Public Works (EPW) Committee Hearing, U.S. Senator Tammy Duckworth (D-IL) and U.S. Secretary of the Department of Transportation (DOT) Pete Buttigieg discussed how the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law (BIL) is helping make public transportation systems more accessible to passengers with disabilities through the new $1.75 billion transit accessibility grant program that Senator Duckworth secured as part of BIL and strengthening local hiring incentive programs in construction project contracts. Video of the Senator’s question line can be found here.

Key Duckworth quotes from today’s Hearing:

  • “I commend you for taking the initiative last year to restore the Local Labor Hiring Pilot Program. We share a commitment to empowering communities to design infrastructure contracts that prioritize creating new jobs through local and economic hiring programs. That is why one of my top priorities during the development of the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law was making sure we eliminated the outdated, one-size-fits-all ban on including local hiring incentives in construction project contracts.”
  • “The Bipartisan Infrastructure Law also recognizes a basic principle: as we work to repair and enhance our infrastructure – we must make sure that the upgrades benefit ALL Americans. That is why I fought so hard to include the All Station Accessibility Program – or ASAP Act – in the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law.  I was pleased that the Biden administration recognized the importance of ASAP by including it in its “Top 10 Programs in the [Bipartisan Infrastructure Law] That You May Not Have Heard About.”

The new transit accessibility grant program is based off of Senator Duckworth’s All Stations Accessibility Program (ASAP) Act and is funded at $1.75 billion over 5 years. According to recent Federal Transit Administration (FTA) data, nearly 20% of U.S. transit stations are not fully accessible.