Please invest in Our Daily Planet today, by making a one time or monthly contribution.
We do not charge our readers a subscription fee for our content. We want to continue to grow our readership, particularly among millennials and public servants. Voluntary contributions from readers will help us employ interns and freelance journalists, expand our content, and reach a larger audience.
Before the coronavirus pandemic, most major cities were working diligently to improve public transportation and encourage residents to opt-out of relying on single-occupancy vehicles and rethink what space devoted to cars could otherwise be used for. But as the virus spread, ridership on mass transit around the world plummeted fueling fears that the resulting revenue losses could send transit into a “death spiral.”
Though the CARES Act provided temporary relief for U.S. transit systems, it’s not enough for the long run. As the New York Times reported, coronavirus cases are rising in over three dozen states, and the first round of congressional aid is quickly drying up. Transit leaders in cities including Seattle, Los Angeles, and Miami warn they need billions of dollars more in aid, otherwise their systems could collapse.
Why This Matters: The Times further noted that as tax revenue plummets, transit agencies across the country are projected to rack up close to $40 billion in budget shortfalls, dwarfing the $2 billion loss inflicted by the 2008 financial crisis. This could mean a long-lasting impact on public transportation which would also have significant impacts on city, state, and national climate goals as transportation is the top source of greenhouse gas emissions in the United States.
Transit Post-Pandemic: Riding public transportation will likely look very different on the other side of the pandemic. We’ll have to rethink the way in which people previously packed into trains and buses for a lower-risk option. What this could look like:
Seats are spaced farther apart on divider-filled vehicles, while drivers sit in ventilated compartments, isolated from passengers.
Smartphone apps may help decongest trains and buses.
And with more people choosing to bike, walk, or work from home, packed train cars have become part of the pre-pandemic lore.
Importance of Public Transit: Many frontline workers still heavily rely on mass transit during this time. As Politico wrote, lawmakers say they worry that their most vulnerable constituents could face the harshest burden if transit systems are forced to reduce or eliminate service.
“Even with decreased ridership, transit agencies must remain in operation so people can access food, doctors, pharmacies, jobs and childcare,” more than 50 Democratic members of the House wrote back in March as part of their plea to leadership for transit funding in the coronavirus relief bill. “Those most reliant on public transportation include communities of color, low-income communities and people with significant cognitive and physical disabilities that use paratransit services.”
ODP: You have just taken over as Europe’s Commissioner for the Environment, Oceans and Fisheries. Tell us how you became interested in conservation and how you have reached such an important position so early in your career? VS: As I was Minister of Economy and Innovation in Lithuania, naturally, I was expecting rather a portfolio […]
Axios Media’s Sara Fischer reported earlier this week, women are”pushing back against the gender imbalance in media” by launching their own platforms and focusing on topics many traditional news companies have long ignored. We can relate! As part of that wave, today our friends at Lonely Whale, a nonprofit that is driving societal change away from […]
With air travel more difficult and risky this year, many families are taking vacations the old-fashioned way — by going on a road trip. And we hear that renting a recreational vehicle or RV is quite popular. It is a great way to “see the country,” and maybe visit some National Parks, while maintaining coronavirus […]
Our Daily Planet is your daily dose of the stories shaping our world and the ways that you can take action. From the climate crisis to the protection of biodiversity, if these issues matter to you then please subscribe & stay informed!
Your privacy is Important! We promise never to use your email address to send you spam or advertisements.