NEW YORK — From New York to San Francisco, public transit systems are facing budget problems.
Transit officials from nine agencies held a video conference Wednesday morning to address potential impacts and ask for immediate federal funding.
MTA Chairman and CEO Pat Foye has been sounding the alarm for months.
“There will be no economic recovery without significant investment in mass transit. This is not a red or blue issue. It’s a jobs issue,” he said.
The MTA has warned up possible elimination of some bus and train routes and a 40 percent cut to subway service. Thousands of layoffs are also possible. View the conversation here.
The virtual rally included leaders with the New Orleans Regional Transit Authority (NORTA), Denver Regional Transportation District (RTD), Indianapolis Public Transportation Corporation (IndyGo), Greater Cleveland Regional Transit Authority (GCRTA), San Francisco Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART), Utah Transit Authority (UTA), Miami-Dade County Department of Transportation and Public Works and Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority (SEPTA).
The directly appealed to the Senate as Congress debates another round of federal funding, including money for unemployment, businesses and transit. That package is more than $900 billion.
The MTA Board meets next week to approve next year’s budget. Service cuts are expected to be a part of that plan.
On Wednesday evening, transit advocates also held a rally calling on Congress to include $32 billion for transit agencies in the United States.
The Riders Alliance, League of Conservation Voters, Permanent Citizens Advisory Committee to the MTA, Straphangers Campaign and Transportation Alternatives and coalition supporters including New York Lawyers for the Public Interest Regional Plan Association, Reinvent Albany, StreetsPAC, and Tri-State Transportation Campaign have also organized efforts to contact elected representatives.
The MTA has estimated its deficit over the next few years to be $12 billion.