Twenty-one NARC-member regional councils have written to congressional leadership requesting critical funding for transit agencies to maintain operations as the COVID-19 pandemic continues to strain their resources.
The agencies call for $32 Billion in emergency federal funds to be included in an upcoming stimulus package to be passed before the end of 2020. This figure has been identified by the American Public Transportation Association (APTA) as what is needed to ensure that transit agencies “can survive and help our communities and the nation recover from the economic fallout of the pandemic.”
COVID-19 has caused massive drops in transit ridership and lost revenue has forced transit agencies across the country to consider service and personnel cuts. With relief funds from the CARES Act running out soon, transit agencies will be forced to make these proposed cuts and layoffs unless further funding is provided to cover the budget gaps created by this year’s lost revenues.
In the letter, the agencies emphasize how important it will be to have a strong transportation network in order to recover from the shutdowns and other impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. They also highlight the danger presented by letting transit systems fail or face significant cutbacks; service and maintenance could take years to recover.