APTA says COVID-19 emergency response bill needs to support public transportation

The association calls for legislative support for essential public transportation services nationwide

March 20, 2020
public transit

The American Public Transportation Association (APTA) is strongly urging Congress to immediately provide $16 billion in direct emergency funding to public transit agencies to offset the extraordinary direct costs and revenue losses caused by the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Public transit agencies are being massively impacted, and immediate measures need to be taken to ensure these agencies can continue to provide essential services to their communities now and in the future,” Paul P. Skoutelas, APTA President and CEO, said in a statement. “It cannot be overstated—without these funds, the overwhelming majority of public transit agencies will be required to either drastically curtail services or suspend services altogether. The time to act is now.”

APTA says it is vital that this legislative action include funding to support essential public transportation services across the country, such as providing paratransit services for individuals with disabilities; public transportation for health care workers, law enforcement, first responder, and other safety personnel; and Medicaid recipients who receive medical transportation for kidney dialysis, cancer treatments, and other critical care.

The association said public transit agencies continue to work tirelessly to provide safe and efficient service during the COVID-19 outbreak, with the health and well-being of riders, employees, and the public paramount. At the same time, the industry is seeing dramatic reductions in ridership due to the workplace restrictions, with an estimated $14 billion in losses expected in both fare and sales tax revenue. In addition, $2 billion is needed for direct costs including upgraded cleaning.

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SOURCE: American Public Transportation Association

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