New York MTA Plans Catastrophic Service and Employment Cuts

A vague threat, present since the beginning of the pandemic, is now much more defined in New York City, as transit riders get an idea of what pandemic austerity looks like for the city's mobility. Congress can still save transit agencies.

November 19, 2020, 5:00 AM PST

By James Brasuell @CasualBrasuell


New York City Subway

Kits Pix / Shutterstock

"A 40% cut in weekday subway service and layoffs of more than 9,000 transit workers are on the table as MTA honchos battle a COVID-19 financial catastrophe," reports Clayton Guse.

Andrew Albert, a non-voting rider advocate on the MTA board, is quoted in the article saying that the cuts "would absolutely be an end to the New York way of life."

The New York Daily News obtained the transit austerity plan before other news outlets in the city, getting the scoop on one of the most significant transit stories since the pandemic began to take massive chunks out of the ridership in the city with the nation's most robust and popular transit system.

The fact that the news of the MTA's austerity plan has found its way to the media probably indicates political pressure on Congress and the incoming Biden administration to provide funding to transit agencies around the country, including the MTA.

"But without Congressional support — which might hinge on whether Democrats can win control of the Senate in a pair of runoff elections in Georgia in January — MTA managers expect to cut deep, their plan shows," according to Guse.

The responses of transit agencies to the financial realities of the pandemic have varied by location. In Boston and San Francisco, austerity has focused service toward buses and away from rail. Denver has focused on popular bus service closer to the urban core while also considering large numbers of layoffs. New York City has proposed a collection of bus priority improvement projects that have since encountered stiff opposition from local politicians and neighborhood organizations.

Tuesday, November 17, 2020 in New York Daily News

Chicago Commute

Planning for Congestion Relief

The third and final installment of Planetizen's examination of the role of the planning profession in both perpetuating and solving traffic congestion.

May 12, 2022 - James Brasuell

Twin Cities

Minneapolis Housing Plan a Success—Not for the Reason You Think

Housing advocates praise the city’s move to eliminate single-family zoning by legalizing triplexes on single-family lots, but that isn’t why housing construction is growing.

May 13, 2022 - Reason

Single-Family Housing Construction

New White House Housing Initiative Includes Zoning Reform Incentives

The Biden administration this morning released a new program of actions intended to spur housing construction around the United States.

May 16, 2022 - The White House

Complete Street Vancouver

Study: Most of Vancouver Is a ‘15-Minute City’

A large majority of Vancouver residents can access a grocery store in 15 minutes or less by bicycle or on foot.

May 20 - Vancouver Sun

Montreal, Quebec

Urban Design, Transport, and Health

The Lancet medical journal published a series of articles that explore how to evaluate and guide urban planning decisions to create healthy and sustainable cities. Live long and prosper!

May 20 - The Lancet - Urban Design, Transport, and Health

MoGo Bikeshare Bikes

Detroit Bike Share Celebrates Five Years

In its five years of operation, Detroit’s MoGo bikeshare has added electric and adaptive bikes to its fleet of more than 600 bikes.

May 20 - MoGo

HUD’s 2022 Innovative Housing Showcase

HUD's Office of Policy Development and Research

Expanding HUD’s Eviction Protection Grant Program

HUD's Office of Policy Development and Research

New Updates on The Edge

HUD's Office of Policy Development and Research

Urban Design for Planners 1: Software Tools

This six-course series explores essential urban design concepts using open source software and equips planners with the tools they need to participate fully in the urban design process.

Hand Drawing Master Plans

This course aims to provide an introduction into Urban Design Sketching focused on how to hand draw master plans using a mix of colored markers.