The lack of federal aid and economic losses stemming from the pandemic is forcing the Metropolitan Transport Authority (MTA) to undergo service reductions. The layoff will cut 9,367 jobs that will affect transit in New York and its suburbs.
This culminates into a 40 per cent job cut for subways and buses, and 50 per cent for surrounding commuter railways. The tolls and fares are also expected to increase if monetary aid is not arranged from Washington.
The economic consequences are severe for everyday commuters — almost 15 million — who rely heavily on the MTA. Riders will end up paying extra while waiting longer, sometimes 15 minutes or even an hour for a bus or a train. This figure amounts to at least one-third of the mass transit users in the US, facing the brunt of the layoff of 13 per cent of its workers.
This decision comes as a cost-cutting measure as the footfall has also decreased because of the pandemic. MTA estimates commuters will not reach the peak of 80 per cent until 2024. This is a financial blow for the city as it will lead to an annual GDP loss of about $ 65 billion GDP. The job cut is expected to go up to a potential 4,50,000 by 2022.
The MTA is seeking $ 12 billion in additional federal aid to meet the budget and will need to borrow $ 3 billion more the next year to meet the budget deficit. American public transport association opines that the MTA needs at least $ 32 billion in emergency funding, that affects at least 10 public transit systems.