As a result of the most recent events regarding COVID-19, the American Public Transportation Association (APTA) is being negatively affected with $2 billion of direct costs as well as $14 billion in expected future revenue losses. This is causing immediate measures to be taken so that these agencies can provide important services both now and in the future. As a result, APTA is requesting that Congress aid the agencies with $16 billion in direct funding.
Below is how the funding would be broken down to combat these damages from the result of COVID-19:
- $1.75 billion in direct costs, such as the cleaning of vehicles
- $7.65 billion in lost farebox revenue
- $6.25 billion in dedicated sales tax revenue which estimates a 75% dedicated loss in sales tax revenue from March - September
- $350 million in restart costs
The Metropolitan Transportation Authority in NYC alone estimates a $3.7 billion revenue loss as well as $300 million in expenses linked to fighting COVID-19.
Why is this important? As it has been previously reported, several smaller and rural transit operators have stopped their fixed route services. This is a small step to an evolving problem. It is vital that public transportation remains functioning at an optimal level because its services people with disabilities, healthcare workers, law enforcement, and first responders among other critical people who rely on the service.
What are the next steps? The bill will move through the senate before it goes to the House of Representatives. There is one House Representative that has gone on record for supporting this bill. Sean Patrick Maloney (D-NY-18) would like to see funds administered through both the Transit and Railroad Administrations. Maloney says it is a way to “bridge the gap” between decreased revenue and increased overhead as a result of COVID-19.