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.”
AS WE TALK ABOUT CLIMATE CHANGE, SOLVING HOMELESSNESS, AND MAKING THE WORLD A BETTER PLACE.. WE HAVE TO TALK ABOUT THE INSTITUTIONALIZED RACISM THAT HAPPENS IN THIS COUNTRY ALL THE TIME. Have you been to a Lizzo show? #Liztalk pic.twitter.com/43x0XqzIuz — ALL THE RUMORS ARE TRUE (@lizzo) September 26, 2021 On Saturday Night, the Global […]
Stand up, fight back. Climate activists across 70 countries took to their respective streets on Friday, inspired by Swedish Youth Activist Greta Thunberg. After a summer of devastating climate disasters across the globe, young people are more anxious than ever about climate change. “There are natural disasters all over the world,” said protester Quang Paasch, […]
Commercial aviation accounts for 11% of US transportation CO2 emissions and 2.4% of global emissions, and the US is the largest aviation emitter in the world. On Wednesday, 100 environmental organizations urged President Biden to cut airplane pollution. Cutting carbon emissions in the sector is crucial to fighting climate change, but decarbonizing an industry that […]
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.