The MTA Is Expecting To Lay Off Thousands of Workers and Cutting Services in Mid-December

Image via Pinterest

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.


According to Fox5, NBC (Source 1) and (Source 2), and CBS, below are the statistics:

  • “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.”

How To Reduce Your Chances of Being Laid Off

Some have inquired about how they can avoid or protect themselves from being laid off in the future, or seeking a career that would be recession-proof. This can be a scary thing especially for folks who are employed with a company that offers no stability, no perks and no advancement opportunities.. and even companies who are at risk of laying off their employees right now due to the global recession. During a time of uncertainty, this is very tough because nobody is immune to this.

Image via GeeksforGeeks
Check out their article. They have excellent tips on how to manage layoffs as well!

In this case, half of the world is unemployed due to unwanted situations of COVID-19: temporary furloughs which in many cases, leads to permanent furloughs and massive layoffs over the span of 2-3 months since the pandemic.

So, for those of you who are currently employed, take a moment to appreciate the job/career that you have. Appreciate your contributions. Appreciate your colleagues. Be thankful for what you have and what you receive. Many of us do not take the time to think about this, however the job that you are currently employed at, gives back to you in many ways. Of course, income is one of them. But think about the things you are receiving at the moment: paid time off, health insurance, blended benefits, experiential rewards. The list goes on.. There is always something to be thankful for.

Sometimes, layoffs are hard to avoid (due to organizational restructuring, business downsizing, a pandemic, etc), however the list of advice below are ways you can prevent or protect yourself to lower the odds.

  • You should hone or learn a new, unique skill that will set you apart from others in the applicant pool. Put a plan in place to gain those new skills. List the skills that you want to learn.
  • Make an effort to educate yourself on all aspects of your employer. During these strenuous economic times, it is likely possible that you may be asked to take on additional tasks of other employees – which can be something that you may be under qualified / overqualified for, let alone something that you do not feel comfortable in taking on.
    • Show that positive demeanor, no matter how hard it can get – because in the long run, this behavior will yield good results. Employers will most likely remember those who assisted them through these arduous times.
    • When you are knowledgeable of all aspects of your employer, this shows that you are more exposed to different projects and learning about what other teams are doing. If you make the effort to engage in team meetings, inquiring to collaborate and assist colleagues with project deadlines that they are struggling to meet, this will convince the employer that you are a valuable asset to them – leading them to reconsider their decision in letting you go. You already have built a strong bond with the employer and they will have a difficult time in letting you go.
      • Do not slack off just because you have received a positive performance review or an appraisal from your boss/supervisor.
      • Take an extra mile and do more than just the responsibilities that are being assigned to you. Deliver great results. Understand the contribution that you make. This is key to becoming a superstar in your workplace. Employers want irreplaceable employees.
      • Put your skills into use and take ownership. Acknowledge how you are viewed and reevaluate what your reputation is. Instead of focusing on day-to-day and short-term goals of the job, start thinking of long-term goals and how you can demonstrate your leadership to your employer.
        • How can I improve the financial health of the business?
        • How can I build a lasting legacy?
        • How can I increase more traffic?
        • What new strategies or tools can I implement to market my employer?
        • Any new products or services I can add to the employer’s existing offerings?
        • Are there ways I can increase productivity?
        • What are some of the best practices to increase market share online?
  • If you are a job seeker who is seeking employment during this suffering economy, make sure that you are researching on the fastest growing companies. If you are located in the New York City area, you may find this helpful: 100 Fastest Growing Companies in New York City in 2020. Don’t let the unemployment numbers fool you, as the labor market is more competitive now than it ever was before due to the high number of job seekers and less job openings.
  • Stay in touch with your network on LinkedIn and reconnect with your existing connections – such as your former bosses/supervisors/colleagues, employment advisors! Do so in a meaningful way where they can speak favorably and highly of you. With this, you will have more people to speak with, as well as keeping you in the loop of any potential opportunities that can reduce your chances of being laid off.
  • If the employer you are working for is at risk of laying off their workers or filing a bankruptcy chapter, you might want to put yourself in your boss’s shoes. Seek ways and methods to help your employer reduce costs, increase revenues, etc.