Transit union says highway bill will raise public transportation fares for riders

“It’s actually a tax increasing bill that will impose hidden taxes on commuters and transit riders by raising fares while forcing cash-strapped transit systems to cut more service,” he continued.

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The ATU said the original transportation bill that was approved earlier this year by the Senate had a provision dealing with the capital funding requirements for public transit systems. But the language did not survive the contentious conference negotiations between the upper chamber and the House, the union said.

The transit union is also taking issue with the elimination of a provision in the Senate's version of the transportation bill that would have restored a $230 tax credit for commuters who take public transit to work. The benefit, which was included in the 2009 economic stimulus, expired at the beginning of 2012. The credit has since been reduced to its original $125.

Hanley said neglecting to restore the $230 benefit would stifle public transportation ridership.

"More and more Americans are relying on public transportation to get to and from work, school, the doctor and other daily tasks and this bill will hit them right in the pocket,” he said. “We urge Congress not to pass this failed legislation which continues to starve mass transit and further weaken our economic recovery.”

Lawmakers are expected to vote Friday on the compromise version of the highway bill. The measure is expected to be approved with bipartisan support.