Emergency Funding for Public Transportation Agencies Due to COVID-19 [March 23, 2020] [open pdf - 651KB]
From the Document: "The COVID-19 pandemic has reportedly resulted in a swift and large loss of public transportation ridership and fare revenue. Examples in the early days of the crisis include an 88% loss of ridership for New Jersey Transit, a 60% loss of subway ridership for New York's Metropolitan Transportation Authority, a 60% loss for Denver's Regional Transportation District, and a 90% loss for Bay Area Rapid Transit in San Francisco. Many transit agencies, including the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority, have responded by cutting service, encouraging people to travel only when necessary, and requiring riders to enter buses through the rear doors without paying a fare. Fare revenue losses are likely to be compounded by a less immediate decline in local tax revenue dedicated to transit agency budgets, particularly sales and property taxes. In 2018, fare revenue was 31% of operating budgets and 22% of overall transit agency funding. Taxes dedicated directly to transit agencies were another 12% of overall funding. With both of these revenue sources under pressure, many transit agencies will likely find it difficult to meet current commitments, such as staff pay and benefits, and to restore service to previous levels once passenger demand rebounds."
CRS Insight, IN11269
Congressional Research Service: https://crsreports.congress.gov/