Transit’s Last Fiscal Crisis: Identifying Sustainable Funding Solutions for Agencies
Transit agencies across the country are facing enormous operating budget shortfalls as federal COVID relief money dries up and ridership has stabilized well below pre-pandemic levels. Without an infusion of additional funds, many agencies will have to enact sweeping service cuts, making transit inaccessible to most.
But this looming fiscal cliff is only the latest of many crises transit agencies have been forced to weather, thanks to decades of unstable, varying funding levels. For too long, we’ve required agencies to rely on inconsistent and insufficient funding sources, which has impeded their ability to provide reliable, effective, and desirable service. Putting transit agencies in this position is a political choice – and we can start making different choices to set transit up to succeed.
Please join TransitCenter for a discussion with Urban Institute’s Yonah Freemark and Lindiwe Rennert, authors of the recently released report, “Surmounting the Fiscal Cliff.” We’ll delve into questions like, “How can transit stop lurching from fiscal crisis to fiscal crisis? What policy choices have led to public transit’s financial instability? And what new and diverse funding models could build a more sustainable future for public transit?” Randy Clarke, General Manager and CEO of WMATA will deliver opening remarks about the fiscal realities his agency is facing, and his vision for securing the funding WMATA needs to survive and thrive.
Randy Clarke, General Manager and CEO, Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA)
Yonah Freemark, Senior Research Associate, Urban Institute
Lindiwe Rennert, Senior Research Associate, Urban Institute
Mary Buchanan, Research & Policy Manager, TransitCenter
Photo credit: Bloomberg