Biden will tout Kansas City’s FREE bus service as he flies to Missouri to promote new $1.2 trillion infrastructure law
- Biden flies to Kansas City on Wednesday
- He will discuss the city’s ‘zero fare’ plan for buses
- It eliminated fares at the start of the pandemic
- The state wants to replace the Buck O’Neil Bridge across the Missouri River
- His day trip comes amid threat of a further Russian invasion of Ukraine
President Joe Biden flies to Kansas City, Missouri on Wednesday as he gets back to promoting the new $1.2 trillion infrastructure law – where he will highlight the city’s ‘zero fare’ system to promote public transportation.
Biden is selling the infrastructure law and the billions for roads, bridges, and buses it provides, even as he tries to cobble together enough votes to push his $1.8 trillion ‘Build Back Better’ plan through the Senate.
The president will visit the Kansas City Area Transportation Authority, where he will ‘discuss how the historic investments in the bipartisan infrastructure law will provide more than $670 million dollars in formula funding for public transportation,’ White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said Tuesday.
She said the funds would make ‘commutes easier so people can get to work and home faster.’ The city is also expanding its streetcar program, with free rides there, as with city buses.
President Joe Biden will discuss Kansas City’s ‘zero fare’ program for buses as he touts the new $1.2 trillion infrastructure law
Biden will try to make his domestic political pitch a day after holding a tense two-hour phone call with Russian President Vladimir Putin, amid fears of an invasion after Russia has amassed tens of thousands of troops on the border.
The White House says the funds will help Kansas City’s ‘zero fare emissions plan.’ The city ditched bus fares completely at the start of the pandemic in 2020, and wants the program to continue. Psaki called it an ‘ambitious’ plan ‘to reduce pollution and increase opportunity by providing great public transit.’
According to the White House, people in Missouri who take public transportation spend an extra 80 percent of time commuting. Kansas City is also switching its bus fleet to electric vehicles.
The city eliminated bus fares during the pandemic
White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki previewed the trip Tuesday
The city touts the social and climate benefits
Biden is likely to discuss with local officials replacement for a bridge named for Kansas City Monarchs star Buck O’Neil, who was posthumously voted into the MLB Hall of Fame
As he has on trips to New Hampshire and Maryland while selling the law, Biden will tout funds for bridges. Psaki said Missouri – a GOP-leaning state that Biden did not carry – is set to receive $7 billion for highways and bridges with an expected 30 percent boost in federal funding.
Biden will also tout the law’s support for the cities upgrades to its ‘old and overwhelmed sewer system, which could cost the city $1.4 billion to complete.’ It is set to receive $860 million for water infrastructure, in a law that promotes clean drinking water for funds to replace lead pipes.
Biden will also point to the bipartisan support for the bill – which came mostly in the Senate – by include the state’s GOP governor, Mike Parson. Two House Democrats, Rep. Sharice Davids and Emmanuel Cleaver, will also join.
He is also expected to talk about replacing the 60-year-old Buck O’Neil Bridge across the Missouri river.
It is named after the late Kansas City Monarchs star Buck O’Neil – a mainstay of the city’s Negro Leagues Baseball Museum who was just voted into the Major League Baseball Hall of Fame on Sunday.