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Letter to the President of the Senate and to the Speaker of the House Transmitting a Proposed Urban Mass Transportation Act.

February 18, 1963

Dear Mr.___________:

I am submitting with this letter a draft bill, the "Urban Mass Transportation Act of 1963," to establish a long-range program of assistance to urban areas in solving their mass transportation problems. The bill is based on the mass transportation legislation which I proposed last year and which was formally reported-but not brought to a vote of the full Membership--in both Houses.

Urban mass transportation is one of the most urgent problems facing the Nation and this Congress. As I said in my recent Message on the State of the Union, "Nearly three-fourths of our citizens live in urban areas, which occupy only 2 percent of our land, and if mass transit is to survive and relieve the congestion of these cities, it needs Federal stimulation and assistance."

It is a Federal responsibility, particularly in this field, to encourage balanced use of all modes of transportation to the end that there may be satisfactory service at minimum cost. A long-range program of Federal assistance for mass transportation is urgently needed, so that local communities may freely decide for themselves the proper balance of local public investment in highways and in mass transportation systems, whether rail or bus.

As indicated in the attached letter from the Housing and Home Finance Administrator, language is being prepared dealing with the subject of protecting the rights and interests of employees who might be adversely affected by projects undertaken or assisted by the mass transportation program and will be transmitted to the appropriate committees at the earliest possible opportunity. It is our expectation that the Secretary of Labor will discuss this very important subject in detail in testimony on the bill.

Enclosed also are a section-by-section summary of the bill and an outline of its major features.


Note: This is the text of identical letters addressed to the Honorable Lyndon B. Johnson, President of the Senate, and to the Honorable John W. McCormack, Speaker of the House of Representatives. The draft bill and the section-by-section summary were not made public.

John F. Kennedy, Letter to the President of the Senate and to the Speaker of the House Transmitting a Proposed Urban Mass Transportation Act. Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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