Since the rise of COVID-19, transit agency officials across the U.S. have been resorting to drastic measures.
Officials see and fear a chain reaction, otherwise known as the “death spiral,” where lower ridership causes spiraling revenue loss and service cuts.
In more than one way, the pandemic caused severe financial constraints to the public transportation systems. For one, a stark fall in ridership due to lockdowns, resulting in decreased fare and sales tax revenues. Another is the soaring cost of rigid disinfecting protocols.
Moreover, the rise in unemployment and the recession has shrunk both transit use and revenues from income and sales taxes. The massive plummets are now impeding the funding of cities and states for transit agencies.
Transit leaders have been call…