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How Will Public Transit Survive the COVID-19 Crisis?

April 1, 2020

public transit station

The $2 trillion Coronavirus Relief Bill signed into law last week, the largest aid package in U.S. history, also contained the largest aid package ever for U.S. transit agencies: $25 billion. The money comes at a time when ridership and revenues have plunged during the COVID-19 health emergency. Experts say the money, which has basically no strings attached, should be more than enough to keep workers employed, at least through the year. But transportation experts say that after the health crisis abates and jobs come back, mass transit could look somewhat different.

Owing to stay-at-home orders in many cities, transit ridership has been in freefall through March, according to Moovit, an urban mobility app. In its request for federal aid, New York’s Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA), the largest in North America, asked for more than $4 billion from Congress to offset a loss of revenue from a steep decline in ridership. In San Francisco, where residents have been ordered to stay home since mid-March, the Bay Area Rapid Transit system (BART) has seen a ridership decline of 90 percent and has been forced to reduce service.

It is not yet clear how the money will be divvied up among the different transit agencies across the U.S., nor is it clear how each agency will use the money it receives. The law comes with more suggestions than strings: It simply says emergency funds are “to prevent, prepare for and respond to coronavirus.” According to the bill, the money is reimbursement for lost operating costs accrued since Jan. 20, 2020, and could be used to maintain service during the ongoing pandemic, or to pay for personal protective equipment and salaries for furloughed workers due to a reduction in service...

Read the full article here.

Capital & Main

CommuteCon 2020 - Free Online Conference

March 16, 2020

CommuteCon will take place on April 1, 2020 from 9am - 2pm PST. CommuteCon is a free online conference that brings together people focused on finding smart, sustainable solutions to big mobility challenges.

Join hundreds of your fellow commuter management leaders from around the world for an amazing lineup of presentations from industry thought leaders.

Speakers include: Susan Shaheen, Co-Direct at UC Berkeley's Transportation Sustainability Research Center; Timothy Papandreou, Founder at Emerging Transport Advisors; Emma Huang, Principal Transportation Planner at LA Metro Office of Extraordinary Innovation; and Danielle Glaser, Head of Bay Area Transportation at LinkedIn; among others.

If you are interested in participating, you can learn more about the conference and register here.