MTA faces 'national crisis,' asks for federal bailout

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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