"If President Joe Biden gets his way, the federal government will double public transit funding in the coming years. He sees it as an essential part of his proposed $2 trillion infrastructure package: a way to reduce traffic congestion, improve air quality and meet rider demand.
Public transit supporters say it’s a bold move—and one that’s sorely needed.
“It’s an ambitious goal and potentially transformational,” said Alex Engel, a spokesperson for the National Association of City Transportation Officials. “It’s something we haven’t seen in decades.”
But critics point out that transit ridership has plummeted during the COVID-19 pandemic. They say no one knows when—or whether—it will return to normal levels, and pumping tens of billions more dollars into public transit is unwise.
“It’s a very bad idea,” said David Ditch, a transportation policy analyst at the Heritage Foundation, a conservative Washington, D.C.-based think tank. “It doesn’t make sense to increase funding now. A few years from now, once we know what the post-pandemic world looks like, we can always come back later and see what the trends are.”"