Last summer, Transportation For America published Stranded At The Station: The Impact Of The Financial Crisis In Public Transportation. It reviewed the recent growth in ridership and outlined the numerous benefits of public transit in terms of mobility, economic issues, equity, health and safety concerns, and environmental and energy impacts. The report also delineated how dozens of transit agencies would be be cutting service, raising fares, or both.
Eight months later, the prolonged economic downturn has several transit agencies around the country in crisis. T4America’s Stranded At The Station: Mapping The Transit Funding Crisis profiles more than 150 U.S. transit agencies’ service reductions, fare increases, and staff layoffs. The transit agencies’ links on the map also provide an opportunity for readers to share their stories of how these transit service changes have impacted them. T4America will in turn share these stories with Congress.
The accompanying story notes: “With public transportation ridership at record highs, transit agencies across the country are facing unprecedented fiscal crises in this economic downturn, with many laying off workers, cutting back service drastically, and raising fares at the worst possible time. Americans took nearly 10.7 billion trips on public transportation in 2008, a four percent increase over 2007 and the highest level since 1956. Public transportation use has increased 38 percent since 1995 — nearly triple the growth rate of the population of the United States. Incredibly, these record ridership numbers are being met with one trend at transit agencies from coast to coast: Service cuts, layoffs, and fare increases.”