MTA asks for federal help
MTA Chairman Pat Foye said the transit agency's ridership has plummeted during the coronavirus pandemic, causing a financial crisis. Reported by Linda Schmidt
NEW YORK - The head of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority is sounding the alarm over the coronavirus pandemic's massive economic effect on the nation's largest transit system.
"This is a national crisis that requires a national solution," MTA Chairman Pat Foye said in a video interview. "The worst case is there's a liquidity crisis at the MTA and other places and there isn't enough cash to keep the organization going."
Foye is asking the federal government for more than $4 billion to keep the subways, buses, Long Island Rail Road, Metro-North Railroad, and other operations running for the next year.
"The numbers are staggering. Subway ridership is down 68%," Foye said. "Bus, 56%, Metro-North 91% I think in large part because of the New Rochelle epicenter of the pandemic in New York."
The chairman added that the LIRR ridership is down two-thirds and bridge and tunnel tolls have dropped nearly 30%. And this is expected to continue for weeks, perhaps months.
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