Stranded: What’s at Stake If Emergency Aid for Transit Runs Dry - TransitCenter

Stranded: What’s at Stake If Emergency Aid for Transit Runs Dry

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COVID-19 has devastated transit agency finances. The CARES Act bought agencies some time, but not nearly enough to weather the duration of the pandemic, according to TransitCenter analysis. Without further emergency aid, transit agencies will be forced to enact severe service cuts to make ends meet, eliminating significant portions of city transit networks. Transit agency executives in cities including New York and Denver have warned that service could be cut by 40% if additional federal relief funding is not distributed.

TransitCenter worked with the Center for Neighborhood Technology to assess the potential impact of 40% service cuts in 9 major regions. In short, millions of riders would be cut off from access to jobs and economic opportunity.

Regions where frequent transit is already thin, like Miami and Cincinnati, would be left with almost none to speak of. In cities like New York and Chicago, hundreds of thousands of people whose daily lives are organized around getting places without a car will abruptly find themselves without access to frequent, all-day transit. The cuts will also be deeply inequitable.  In every region, Black and Latino households account for a disproportionately high share of transit riders and stand to lose the most.

Join us for a conversation with transit riders and agency leaders about the crisis facing transit in America today, and what interventions are needed to prevent this disastrous scenario.


Peter Haas, PhD, Chief Research Scientist, Center for Neighborhood Technology

Julie Kirschbaum, Director of Transit, SFMTA

Roger Williams, Member, Riders’ Council – Transit Alliance Miami

Yasha Zarrinkelk, Transit Coalition Organizer, Transit Forward Philadelphia


Mary Buchanan, Senior Research Associate, TransitCenter

This webinar will be closed-captioned.

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