With ridership still at less than half of pre-pandemic levels, the region's transit agencies face billions of dollars in budget shortfalls after federal assistance runs out.
Without the crush of pre-pandemic commuters, write Elise Young and Raeedah Wahid, New York City's public transit providers, who "rely heavily on fare revenue for day-to-day expenses," will have to make massive cuts in staff and service after federal pandemic relief dollars run out. With less than half of its typical ridership, New York's Metropolitan Transportation Authority faces a shortfall of billions of dollars.
"The non-profit Regional Plan Association, which researches New York City-area economic and environmental issues, predicts an eventual ridership recovery. But some commuters will trade the 9-to-5 workday for more flexible hours, driving up off-peak travel -- and potentially creating chaos, according to Tom Wright, the association’s president." Off-peak travel, says Wright, "actually puts more pressure on the transit agencies."
According to Redfin, "[r]eal estate in popular New York City suburban commuter hubs continued to soar during the pandemic, but the hotter single-family home market is in areas with little to no mass transit." Workers who are making their return to the city "are finding increased crime rates and vacancies among office towers’ street-level businesses that once teemed with commuters," evidence of the trickle-down effects of reduced workforces in central business districts, whose corporate offices created the need for a wide variety of ancillary services. If, as Richard Florida predicts, central business districts will transform into multi-purpose hubs and "15-minute neighborhoods" less dependent on daily commuters, transit agencies may once again need to readjust their service to cater to new needs and schedules.
Amtrak Ramping Up Infrastructure Projects
Thanks to federal funding from the 2021 infrastructure act, the agency plans to triple its investment in infrastructure improvements and new routes in the next two years.
The Unceremonious Death of a Freeway Expansion Project
The end of an Oregon freeway project didn't get much fanfare, but the victory is worth celebrating.
Ending Downtown San Francisco’s ‘Doom Loop’
A new public space project offers an ambitious vision—so why is the city implementing it at such a small scale?
Kaua’i County Uses Long-Range Models to Mandate Resiliency Standards
The county requires builders to assess potential flood risks using models that account for sea level rise projected as far out as 2100.
California Governor Vetoes Autonomous Truck Ban
Gov. Newsom called the new law unnecessary, citing existing efforts by state regulators to develop new rules around autonomous trucking.
Low-Barrier Motel Shelter Is a Success—But Not an Easy One
Many guests at Motels4Now are on their second or third stays—but staff say that's doesn't equal failure, and the numbers bear that out.
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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.