May 12, 2020
NATION’S LARGEST TRANSIT AGENCIES AND LABOR LEADERS CALL ON CONGRESS
TO DELIVER ROBUST FEDERAL AID IN NEXT CORONAVIRUS RELIEF PACKAGE
MARTA, MTA, NJ Transit, SEPTA, BART, TWU, ATU, TTD Demand Urgent Action from Federal Government to Fund Public Transit
ATLANTA – The Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority (MARTA) today rallied together with the New York Metropolitan
Transportation Authority (MTA), NJ TRANSIT, Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority (SEPTA), San Francisco Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART), and the nation’s largest transportation unions, the Transport Workers Union (TWU), Amalgamated Transit Union
(ATU), and the Transportation Trades Department (TTD) of the AFL-CIO to call on Congress to deliver urgent and robust federal aid in the next coronavirus relief package.
The demand follows a May 8 letter to Congressional leaders demanding federal funding from 15 public transit agencies that
move more than 20 million Americans every day and serve regions generating 35 percent of the nation’s Gross Domestic Product.
“Public transit is a critical component to the economic vitality of the regions that we serve, said MARTA General Manager
and CEO Jeffrey Parker. “While the initial funding from the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act staved off worst case scenarios, more relief is needed to close the enormous budget gap created by unprecedented declines in ridership and
revenue caused by this health crisis.”
A fuller picture has emerged of the depth of revenue losses at MARTA, showing a five-year deficit of $380 million. To date,
our unanticipated costs for masks, gloves, cleaning supplies, and emergency sick leave totals $1.32 million. Costs that are expected to increase as the economy reopens, shelter-in-place orders are lifted, and more customers return to transit.
“Additional federal relief will be needed for MARTA to maintain its current level of service and keep employees and customers
safe,” added Parker. “We must replenish our lost revenue while continuing to invest in expansion programs that will stimulate the economy and sustain jobs in a period of record high unemployment.”
MARTA and transit agencies across the country are asking that this request of $33 billion in aid be distributed based on
the loss of non-federal revenues. As was the case in the CARES Act, these funds should be unrestricted and available for any eligible activity under Chapter 53 of Title 49 at a federal share of 100 percent.