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An article by TransitCenter details the growing risk that the pandemic's ongoing effects on transit ridership in the United States will have a long-term effect on transit systems.
The longer the COVID-19 pandemic grinds on, the more the inadequacy of the CARES Act and the old funding formulas it’s based on becomes apparent. As CARES funding is depleted, millions of Americans face the prospect of being unable to reach work, school, medical care, and other daily necessities because transit agencies will be forced to cut service and raise fares. Black, brown, and low-income workers use transit the most, and they will be hardest hit in any austerity scenario.
Transit systems in New York, San Francisco, Denver, and Seattle are threatening (also documented by Planetizen) deep cuts to transit service if they don't receive more emergency funding from the federal government, according to TransitCenter.
The inadequacies of CARES Act funding for transit are multiple, according to the report, and any new federal emergency funding should correct previous mistakes. "Instead of a disaster relief model, targeting assistance according to the specific impacts in affected areas, the CARES Act response to transit was grounded in outmoded equations." The result of the CARES Act funding model, according to the report, is that funding will run out for larger areas in half the time.