Passenger Transport May 2020 Vol 78 No 9 - 1


MONDAY, MAY 4, 2020

| VOLUME 78, NO. 9

Public Transit Agencies Continue to Respond
To Challenges of COVID-19
Public transit agencies across the country are having to
find new and innovative ways to combat the challenges
they face in the wake of coronavirus. From ensuring they
can continue to safely transport essential workers to their
jobs, to planning for the reopening of their systems, all
while facing huge financial losses, public transit agencies
nevertheless are revealing just how resilient they are in the
midst of a global pandemic.
The safety and security of employees
and riders is paramount. But with personal protective equipment (PPE) still in
short supply, agencies and businesses
are having to make their own, and some
manufacturers are even shifting their
product lines to produce face shields
and masks.
The recently approved bipartisan
CARES Act includes $25 billion in emergency relief for public transit agencies to
help offset lost revenue and the extraordinary costs associated with COVID-19.
Additional funding will be needed to
help offset the astronomical losses they
continue to experience.
The Greater Cleveland Regional
Transit Authority (RTA) will receive
approximately $111 million of CARES
Act funding, which will address lost revenue and increased operating expenses
related to COVID-19, including: lost
sales tax revenue, lost fare box revenue

and the purchase of cleaning supplies
and PPE. RTA's March 2020 revenue
decreased by 21 percent compared to

A Cubic employee sewing face coverings at its
-manufacturing facility in Mexico.

March 2019. Because there is a threemonth lag between sales tax revenue
collection and when it is apportioned
to RTA, the full impact of COVID-19 on
sales tax will not be known until summer 2020 when RTA receives tax proceeds relating to March 2020 business
"The CARES Act will provide the
Greater Cleveland Regional Transit
Authority with desperately needed
funds that will help us continue providing essential p
- ublic transportation services," said India B
- irdsong, general
manager and CEO. "Hundreds of
thousands of Clevelanders are following the Governor's stay at home
order. We support every effort to
The Salem Area Mass Transit District (SAMTD) is
fight the spread of coronavirus, but using a 3D printer to make face shields.
at the same time we recognize that
dealing with C
- OVID-19 has signifiin CARES Act funding for which Bay
cantly impacted fares and sales tax
Area transit agencies are eligible.
revenues that keep RTA rolling."
This first wave of funding allows
The Metropolitan Transportation
CARES Act money to be distributed
Commission (MTC) in the San Franquickly and fairly to help Bay Area
cisco Bay Area approved the allo-public transit agencies meet the immecation of more than $780 million of
diate crisis while retaining flexibility for a
federal funds to cash-strapped Bay
second phase that will allow the region
Area transit agencies through the
to adapt to changing conditions in the
CARES Act. The allocation formula,
months ahead.
developed through a partnership
"These funds will help save a lot of
between MTC and transit agency
staff, represents the first of two disPUBLIC TRANSIT'S RESPONSE
tributions of the roughly $1.3 billion

Public Transit Leaders Address U.S. Chamber
On Post COVID-19 Environment
Valley Transportation Authority (VTA), San Jose, CA; Rick Cotton, executive d
- irector,
Port Authority of New York and New Jersey; and former APTA Chair Phillip A.
-Washington, CEO, Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority,
-participated this week at an event hosted by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce
to -discuss the ramifications of the COVID-19
-pandemic and preparations for the next phase.
Raj Subramaniam, president and chief operating officer, FedEx Corporation, also participated.
Chamber of Commerce President Suzanne
Clark hosted the Path -Forward series. View the
event at
Fernandez noted her county was the first in
the U.S. to declare sheltering in place, March 16.
VTA, she said, immediately implemented a series
Rick Cotton
of initiatives to ensure riders and operators were Nuria I. Fernandez

protected with personal protective equipment and by six-foot distancing. The latter
was a challenge she said for public transit, "which, as a benefit, is able to move a lot
of people in a single vehicle."
She stressed how vital it is to provide service to those riders who are essential
employees and to "continue to deliver what is a lifeline to our community."
When more demand returns, she said "we will
have to think differently. Our businesses and our
environment have changed."
Fernandez said she recently created APTA's
Mobility Recovery & Restoration Task Force,
which will focus on the industry's recovery with
an eye toward rethinking mobility as we know it.
Washington is chair of the task force.

Phillip A. Washington


Passenger Transport May 2020 Vol 78 No 9

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Passenger Transport May 2020 Vol 78 No 9

Passenger Transport May 2020 Vol 78 No 9 - bb1
Passenger Transport May 2020 Vol 78 No 9 - bb2
Passenger Transport May 2020 Vol 78 No 9 - 1
Passenger Transport May 2020 Vol 78 No 9 - 2
Passenger Transport May 2020 Vol 78 No 9 - 3
Passenger Transport May 2020 Vol 78 No 9 - 4
Passenger Transport May 2020 Vol 78 No 9 - 5
Passenger Transport May 2020 Vol 78 No 9 - 6
Passenger Transport May 2020 Vol 78 No 9 - 7