Plunge in Mass Transit Ridership Deals Huge Blow to Climate Mitigation

"Transit agencies ask Congress for relief as commuters return to their cars and fare revenues tank. Meanwhile, driving direction requests—and carbon emissions—soar."

"Before the pandemic, Hailey Vogel lived an itinerant life enabled by the Big Apple's robust transit system.

A research manager at New York University, Vogel—like many New Yorkers—used mass transit daily to get to and from work, to visit friends and to run errands of all sorts before stay-at-home orders and a lingering fear of catching Covid-19 in enclosed spaces brought the city to a virtual standstill.

But even though New York City's infection rates have waned and the city slowly began to reopen its economy in June, the 26-year-old Brooklynite has yet to step foot on a public bus or take a subway line since March.

Vogel's sentiment appears to be playing out across the country as transit agencies from coast to coast report lost revenues ranging from hundreds of millions of dollars to several billion. And in some of the nation's biggest cities, budget deficits are hitting agencies so hard that they're considering permanent cuts to subway and bus lines."

Kristoffer Tigue reports for InsideClimate News July 17, 2020.

Source: InsideClimate News, 07/20/2020