- An economic analysis conducted by EBP US Inc. found that public transit agencies face a projected shortfall of $39.3 billion through 2023.
- In 2020, 65 percent of public transit agencies were forced to cut service. Four in 10 agencies are considering additional cuts to service to close their budget gaps.
- Similarly, more than three in four transit industry businesses (76 percent) have seen a reduction in their business as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. On average, businesses have seen a 40 percent reduction in activity.
- In 2020, 32 percent of businesses were forced to lay off employees and 11 percent have been forced to close a facility. If Congress does not provide additional emergency funding for transit, nearly four in 10 businesses (38 percent) will be forced to consider additional layoffs.
WASHINGTON, D.C. (January 28, 2021) – An independent, economic analysis conducted by EBP US Inc. for the American Public Transportation Association (APTA) found that public transit agencies still face a projected shortfall of $39.3 billion through 2023. While the much-needed initial rounds of emergency funding through the CARES Act and CRRSAA provided transit agencies across the nation with relief, transit funding needs continue to grow due to ongoing losses of ridership, fare revenue, and state and local tax revenue.
“The COVID-19 pandemic has put a spotlight on the importance of public transit in keeping our society working, moving, responding, and connecting,” said APTA President and CEO Paul P. Skoutelas. “The pandemic represents an existential threat to public transit jobs, businesses, and service. Our request for $39.3 billion is necessary to avoid catastrophic decisions that will hurt our riders, our communities, and the nation.”
“Public transportation continues to be a lifeline during this challenging time. The industry serves essential employees every day, but without additional emergency funding, many transit agencies will need to further cut transit services and routes and lay off additional transit workers, leaving our communities without transportation and jobs when they need them most,” said Jeffrey A. Nelson, general manager, Rock Island County Metropolitan Mass Transit District (MetroLINK), Moline, IL.
APTA is urging Congressional leaders and President Joseph R. Biden, Jr. to provide an additional $39.3 billion in COVID-19 emergency funding to help public transit agencies continue to provide a critical lifeline to essential workers and to help our communities begin to rebuild our economy.
If Congress and the Administration do not provide significant additional COVID-19 emergency transit funding, many public transit agencies will be forced to cut service and lay off or furlough employees. According to a January 2021 APTA survey of public transit agencies, four in 10 agencies will have to consider additional service cuts to close their budget gaps. These cuts would come on the heels of 65 percent of transit agencies having cut service in 2020. Twenty-two percent of agencies will be forced to consider implementing additional layoffs.
These emergency funds are also critical to maintain the manufacturing and supply chain for public transportation agencies and limit the enormous economic damage to these businesses caused by the pandemic. According to a January 2021 APTA survey of public transit industry businesses, 76 percent of businesses have seen a reduction in their transit industry business as a result of COVID-19, and nearly four in 10 businesses will be forced to consider additional layoffs. One of every five businesses are concerned that they may go out of business due to the pandemic.
Providing the public transportation industry with long-term certainty is critical to the nation’s economic recovery. The time is now to invest more in our nation’s public transportation infrastructure to support jobs, reconnect Americans, and build the necessary infrastructure network to provide critical public transit services and economic opportunities for all.
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.