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Rep. Adams Introduces the Saving Transit Art Resources (STAR) Act

Jun 25, 2019
Press Release

WASHINGTON, DC – Congresswoman Alma S. Adams (NC-12) introduced the Saving Transit Art Resources Act, which would reinstate a federal flexibility that allows local transit authorities to incorporate art into federally- funded transit projects.

For 30 years in cities and towns—small and large—across America, transit agencies have employed artists to enhance their transit projects. These costs typically comprised 1-2 percent of a project’s budget and could be used to support the employment of an artist on a design team if artistic elements were integrated into the design or facility.

However, in 2015, Congress passed legislation that included a provision prohibiting the use of Federal Transit Administration (FTA) funds for the incorporation of art into transit projects. In addition, once FTA funds are used for any part of a transportation project, the local funds face the same federal restrictions and probations, severely limiting the ability of local funding to go towards incorporating art into transit projects.

“As a practicing artist and art professor for 40 years, I know the value that public art can add to communities. Artists aid in transit design, improve safety and security, increase ridership, reduce vandalism, and inspire and enrich the community,” said Congresswoman Adams. “In my district, the Charlotte Area Transit System’s ability to integrate art into stations and park and ride lots is in jeopardy. This bill would restore the ability of transit authorities to incorporate art in public transit, creating more vibrant and welcoming mass transit options.”

“Art is important to America’s transit systems because it helps to incorporate transit into the community; it becomes a part of the fabric and builds community pride,” said John Lewis, Chief Executive Officer of the Charlotte Area Transit System. It also enhances the riding experience while commuters connect to all of the places public transit takes them.”

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