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Joint Legislative Public Budget Hearing on Transportation

Clearly, 2020 was a year like no other and the MTA’s fiscal resources have been devastated by the COVID-19 pandemic. Ridership continues to be depressed, and fare box revenue is directly affected. Even with the promise of expanded vaccinations, the work-from-home dynamic and an overarching fear of contracting the virus continue to change ridership patterns. Last week, we released a white paper entitled How the MTA can transition into the New Normal: Getting riders back on-board, that includes our recommendations on measures the MTA should take to increase rider confidence. The ultimate goal is to encourage riders to return to subways, buses and commuter rail by making them feel safe and comfortable while riding. That will take time and money: it will take years to get back to the record ridership we had; and an additional infusion of federal funding is essential to the MTA’s fiscal well-being.

We are heartened by the responsiveness the new Administration has shown to the MTA’s needs and are hopeful that additional financial support will come to the region soon to aid in our recovery – including allowing the agency to move ahead with congestion pricing.