WASHINGTON (March 19, 2020) – The public transportation industry strongly urges Congress to immediately provide $16.0 billion in direct emergency funding to public transit agencies to offset the extraordinary direct costs and revenue losses caused by the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Public transit agencies are being massively impacted, and immediate measures need to be taken to ensure these agencies can continue to provide essential services to their communities now and in the future,” said Paul P. Skoutelas, APTA President and CEO. “It cannot be overstated — without these funds, the overwhelming majority of public transit agencies will be required to either drastically curtail services or suspend services altogether. The time to act is now.”
It is vital that this legislative action include funding to support essential public transportation services across the country, such as providing paratransit services for individuals with disabilities; public transportation for health care workers, law enforcement, first responder, and other safety personnel; and Medicaid recipients who receive medical transportation for kidney dialysis, cancer treatments, and other critical care.
Public transit agencies continue to work tirelessly to provide safe and efficient service during the COVID-19 outbreak, with the health and well-being of riders, employees, and the public paramount. At the same time, the industry is seeing dramatic reductions in ridership due to the workplace restrictions, with an estimated $14 billion in losses expected in both fare and sales tax revenue. In addition, $2 billion is needed for direct costs including upgraded cleaning.
The American Public Transportation Association (APTA) is a nonprofit international association of 1,500 public and private sector organizations which represent a $74 billion industry that directly employs 435,000 people and supports millions of private sector jobs. APTA members are engaged in the areas of bus, paratransit, light rail, commuter rail, subways, waterborne services, and intercity and high-speed passenger rail. This includes: transit systems; planning, design, construction, and finance firms; product and service providers; academic institutions; transit associations and state departments of transportation. APTA is the only association in North America that represents all modes of public transportation. APTA members serve the public interest by providing safe, efficient and economical transit services and products.