The pandemic has plunged the nation’s transit agencies into a profound crisis. Without at least $32 billion in additional emergency aid for transit, our cities and economy cannot fully recover. Click here to contact Congress and urge your Senators and Representatives to invest no less than $32 billion to save transit.
Since the pandemic began, transit agencies and their workers have stepped up to continue providing frequent service and ensure riders can reach essential jobs and amenities. These efforts have come at a great cost: hundreds of transit workers have died of covid-19 as cities work to keep systems running. Agencies have taken on millions of dollars in new expenses to procure PPE for staff and implement extensive cleaning protocols to keep riders safe on-board. At the same time, lost revenues from fares and local taxes have agencies facing multibillion dollar deficits and significant service cuts even as the number of daily transit trips is over triple that of all domestic airlines combined. Without an infusion of federal aid, many agencies will have to scale back service, lay off thousands of workers, and cancel plans to improve or expand their systems.
Reliable, frequent transit is the lifeblood of cities and their transportation systems. With the transit manufacturing and operations industries directly supporting tens of thousands of jobs, economic recovery hinges on its availability. High-quality transit is also critical for racial and economic equity in cities. Service cuts will doubly harm the communities already most impacted by the pandemic in the form of lost access and mobility, longer travel and wait times, and unsafe travel conditions due to crowding. Federal aid is critical for avoiding a collapse of the nation’s transit systems and the associated economic and equity impacts.
The CARES Act helped keep agencies afloat in the short term but transit faces a long road towards full recovery. Federal funding will immediately ensure the availability of safe, reliable service for the workers and communities who currently need it most, preserve essential jobs, and help move capital projects forward. As the pandemic stretches on, Congress must support transit by providing at least $32 billion in additional emergency aid.