WASHINGTON — President-elect Joe Biden has said he will give more than $20 billion in emergency funding to transit agencies dealing with reduced ridership and shrinking budgets as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. The funds will be part of broader legislation responding to the pandemic.
Groups like the American Public Transportation Association were quick to praise the plan. The funds would be in addition to the $15 billion doled out to Amtrak and public transit agencies in the last stimulus bill.
“The American Public Transportation Association, on behalf of the entire public transportation industry, applauds the incoming Biden administration for recognizing the critical needs of our industry. The proposed emergency transit funding included in the American Rescue Plan is vital to the industry’s survival and will help prevent massive labor cuts and drastic service reductions,” officials said. “Public transportation has served an essential role during this pandemic and is an indispensable part of the social and economic recovery of our communities and our country. Despite the tremendous challenges the public transit industry faces, we continue to provide millions of Americans the ability to get to work, school, grocery stores, and healthcare appointments.” —Passenger Train Journal Staff