MTA calls for emergency federal relief amid low ridership during pandemic
The head of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority is joining agencies across the country to call for emergency federal relief.
This comes after the MTA says it is seeing extremely low ridership due to the coronavirus pandemic.
"In order to ensure the health care workers, grocery workers, first responders, and other essential personnel can continue to get to work and beat this pandemic, we need substantial federal funding now,” said MTA Chairman and CEO Pat Foye.
This is a call for Congress to pass a coronavirus relief package to keep the MTA running.
"Its impact on MTA ridership and revenue surpasses even that of the Great Depression,” said Foye.
According to the MTA, ridership on the subway is down 70% while bus ridership is down 50%. Foye says that if they don’t receive help soon, the MTA could face drastic service cuts, fare increases and layoffs of thousands of workers--as soon as next spring.
"These drastic actions will kill our national economic recovery,” said Foye.
The country hasn’t seen federal coronavirus relief since the CARES Act was passed back in March.
The passing of a new bill requires bipartisan support in Congress.
Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer spoke on the dire need for the bill on the floor of the U.S. Senate Tuesday.
"There are glaring needs in the country and we need to work across party lines to pass legislation to meet those needs. Let me say it again: we need both parties to sit down and compromise on legislation to help the American people,” said Schumer.
Foye and transit agencies across the country hope that relief will come before the end of the month.