Around mid-March when the NYC lockdown happened due to the highest cases, subway riders have descended rapidly to over 90 percent. As the phases slowly reopened in the recent months, subway riders still remained below 70 percent compared to pre-pandemic. Road traffic, including the tunnel and bridges have plummeted significantly throughout the months.
MTA service reduction and layoffs are all dependent on the federal government’s funding and the economic activity across the New York County. The MTA is expected to lay off at least more than 9000 workers if they do not receive any significant amount of funding because they need $12 billion in federal emergency funds to keep the system running as is.
- “MTA officials have asked Congress to cough up $12 billion in federal aid by the end of 2021 to stay afloat.”
- “The MTA has been asking for a bailout from the federal government. It did receive $4 billion in stimulus funds, but for the additional $12 billion to be approved it would likely need to pass through the Senate.”
- “Some of the other cuts will reportedly include laying off more than 8,200 workers on subway and buses… and more than 1,100 Metro-North and LIRR employees.”
- “Some weekend service would be slashed entirely while weekday train schedules would be cut by about 40%.”
- “Fare hikes are also a possibility. In August, transit officials said a Metro-Card swipe could go up from $2.75 to $3.75.”
- “The MTA received $4 billion from the federal government earlier this year but has asked for an additional $12 billion. It is uncertain whether additional money for transit assistance will be included in future COVID-19 stimulus bills.”
- “Motorists and mass transit riders in New York are already facing fare and toll increases next year. Tolls and fares are planned to increase 4 percent in both years, New York State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli said earlier this month.”
- “The board is considering a number of options to raise fares on buses, subways, the LIRR and Metro-North by 4%. Tolls could go up as much as 8% or $6.70.”
- “The projected fare and toll increases would raise $145 million in 2021 and rise to $650 million by 2024, according to the report.”
- “Even if normal ridership returns by 2023, the MTA still projects budget deficits totaling more than $19 billion through 2024, according to DiNapoli’s report. Included in that is a projected $6.3 billion deficit in 2021, which would be more than 50 percent of total revenues. The report called the gaps ‘historic in nature.'”
- “‘Increased cleaning and disinfecting of the subway, rail and bus systems — which has included the rare step of closing subways overnight — is costing the MTA about $1 billion in unplanned expenses,’ DiNapoli said. He didn’t have an estimate for how much the MTA is saving by the overnight closures, but said any savings are likely being offset by the costs of cleaning.”