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Fri Apr 23, 2021, 10:55 AM

Three reasons public transit requires robust investment after historic COVID-19 relief funding





OP-ED: Three reasons public transit requires robust investment after historic COVID-19 relief funding
Though the answers to significant questions remain outstanding, such as how demographics, economics, technology and politics will shape the future of transit, one certainty remains – it’s needed.

Bennett E. Resnik


Over the past year, a broad range of industries, highly vulnerable to the consequences of a global public health crisis, were harshly affected by the aftershock of such an unparalleled event. Many of these industries received swift, significant and consistent support from the federal government, including public transit. While public transit was a fortunate recipient of considerable federal funding, it still requires considerable investment in the form of Fiscal Year 2021 appropriations, surface transportation reauthorization and a comprehensive infrastructure package.

The Federal Transit Administration, by way of Congress, will ultimately distribute approximately $69.5 billion in emergency supplemental funding to public transit agencies across the United States. This funding was included throughout three COVID-19 relief bills; the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act provided $25 billion; the Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act (CRRSAA) provided $14 billion; and the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) provided $30.5 billion. This funding was and remains critical to ensure the survival of public transit and safeguard a transportation service upon which so many essential workers and small businesses rely.

According to an economic analysis conducted by EBP US, Inc. and issued by the American Public Transportation Association (APTA), “nationally, transit ridership in 2020 dropped by 79 percent compared to 2019 levels at the start of the pandemic.” Though the loss in ridership and resulting fare revenue is hard enough, the situation is exacerbated by ongoing losses in tax revenue and decreases in state funding.

While there are various justifications for further robust investment in our nation’s public transit systems, three stand out as top motivations for the federal government’s continued partnership; the pervasive State of Good Repair backlog, the unknown restoration of ridership levels and future service expansion to ensure sufficient, accessible and reliable service throughout the community and region. ............(more)

https://www.masstransitmag.com/management/blog/21219707/oped-three-reasons-public-transit-requires-robust-investment-after-historic-covid19-relief-funding




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Reply Three reasons public transit requires robust investment after historic COVID-19 relief funding (Original post)
marmar Apr 2021 OP
Sinistrous Apr 2021 #1
abqtommy Apr 2021 #2

Response to marmar (Original post)

Fri Apr 23, 2021, 11:27 AM

1. The decline in ridership is probably going to be long-term because

of the rise in the number of workers choosing to work-at-home,

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Response to marmar (Original post)

Fri Apr 23, 2021, 12:04 PM

2. In 2018 I spent 9 months depending on the Albuquerque Rapid Transit/bus system. My

experiences with that have made me a rabid supporter of all mass transit systems. I support financial subsidy for all these systems since they're a vital public service. And
I'm so happy to have a car now!

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