Public Papers of Gerald R. Ford, 1974

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Author: Gerald R. Ford  | Date: November 26, 1974

261
Remarks on Signing the National Mass Transportation Assistance Act of 1974.
November 26, 1974

I APOLOGIZE for being late, but we had a meeting with the joint leadership where I reported on the trip to Japan, to Korea, and to the Soviet Union.It is a pleasure and a privilege to see all of my old friends in the Congress and some of the mayors and some of the Governors.

On this occasion, the news of the passage of this legislation reached me overseas. And I consider this legislation a top priority of the 93d Congress, and I congratulate the Senate and the House for acting so quickly and so decisively.

This marks a long-term and vital major Federal commitment to mass transportation. This legislation represents a compromise in the best sense of the term. Although different positions were set forth in the beginning—the views of the Administration, the Congress, Governors, mayors, and others—we were able to reconcile our differences and develop legislation to meet our most urgent needs in mass transportation at a cost which is not inflationary.

This legislation is significant in our fight against excessive use of petroleum, in our economic battle, and in our efforts to curb urban pollution and reduce congestion. It assures that $11.8 billion in Federal assistance will be available to States and to cities to meet transit needs for the rest of the decade.

This assurance of steady and predictable support for public transit for the first time will enable localities to plan intelligently for their long-term needs. Also for the first time, this legislation will permit the Federal Government to provide limited assistance toward the operating expenses of transit systems. Provisions of the bill will minimize possible adverse effects of Federal involvement in such deficits. The act contains funds, again for the first time, which can be used for rural public transportation.

Many in the Congress and elsewhere worked very hard to develop this legislation, and I am pleased that so many of you could be here today. Secretary Brinegar, Frank Herringer, John Tower, Pete Williams, Joe Minish, Bill Widnail, Garry Brown, Jim Delaney, John Anderson, Ray Madden—and I could go on—deserve special mention. So do many mayors who made numerous journeys to Washington, all for a good cause.

I am encouraged here and now [by] the use, the excessive use of certain energy; that is, the kind of energy expended to enact this legislation by the Congress and by its supporters around the country. Let us put more and more of this personal energy into the effective solution of the important problems facing the Nation today. We surely will find solutions at a price that is right.

It is with a great deal of personal pleasure that I sign the National Mass Transportation Assistance Act of 1974. Thank you all again. It is so nice to see so many of you, and I compliment ina personal way the cooperation, the assistance, and the understanding. This is what produces results, and I thank each and every one of you very, very much.

NOTE: The President spoke at 10:40 a.m. in the East Room at the White House. In his remarks, the President referred to Frank C. Herringer, Administrator of the Urban Mass Transportation Administration, Senators John G. Tower and Harrison A. Williams, and Representatives Joseph G. Minish, William B. Widnail, Garry E. Brown, James J. Delaney, John B. Anderson, and Ray I. Madden.

As enacted, the bill (S. 386) is Public Law 93-503 (88 Stat. 1565).

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Chicago: Gerald R. Ford, "261 Remarks on Signing the National Mass Transportation Assistance Act of 1974.," Public Papers of Gerald R. Ford, 1974 in Federal Register Division. National Archives and Records Service, Public Papers of the Presidents of the United States, Gerald R. Ford, 1974 (Washington, D.C.: Government Printing Office, 1956-), P.784 665–666. Original Sources, accessed October 3, 2022, http://www.originalsources.com/Document.aspx?DocID=KPMP16G84426UXV.

MLA: Ford, Gerald R. "261 Remarks on Signing the National Mass Transportation Assistance Act of 1974." Public Papers of Gerald R. Ford, 1974, in Federal Register Division. National Archives and Records Service, Public Papers of the Presidents of the United States, Gerald R. Ford, 1974 (Washington, D.C.: Government Printing Office, 1956-), P.784, pp. 665–666. Original Sources. 3 Oct. 2022. http://www.originalsources.com/Document.aspx?DocID=KPMP16G84426UXV.

Harvard: Ford, GR, '261 Remarks on Signing the National Mass Transportation Assistance Act of 1974.' in Public Papers of Gerald R. Ford, 1974. cited in , Federal Register Division. National Archives and Records Service, Public Papers of the Presidents of the United States, Gerald R. Ford, 1974 (Washington, D.C.: Government Printing Office, 1956-), P.784, pp.665–666. Original Sources, retrieved 3 October 2022, from http://www.originalsources.com/Document.aspx?DocID=KPMP16G84426UXV.