Here is the recording of the May 13th CRT Quarterly Meeting, along with our slideshow presentation.
We are in uncharted waters with regard to COVID-19 virus; we don’t know how bad it will get or how wide and long its devastation will reach. We hope it will be put under control soon and pray that your friends and families are spared the worst from this illness.
Our transit systems, nation-wide, are also in uncharted waters. With the statewide orders for non-essential workers to stay at or work from home, the closing of schools and businesses, and the need for maintaining maximum social distance, transit systems are being hurt badly. Ridership is down between 40% and 90% in transit systems across the US (e.g., NYC ridership is down 67%, Bay area transit down 87%, Seattle down 45%).
The NFTA is experiencing similar ridership decreases. These losses are made worse when other taxes that support transit (e.g., the Erie County sales and mortgage recording taxes) also take a financial hit due to the virus. The $2.2T Federal CARES act just passed and signed into law by President Trump includes $25B for transit systems. This will help.
We are very pleased with the actions taken by the NFTA including:
Statement by Citizens for Regional Transit President Doug Funke:
"As the President of Citizens for Regional Transit, I want to personally thank Assemblyman Sean Ryan and Assemblywoman Karen McMahon for their leadership and support for public transportation in Buffalo-Niagara, and specifically for their effort to increase state financial support for NFTA maintenance, operations and capital improvements. Without an increase in state transit operating assistance (STOA), which have not kept up with our cumulative maintenance needs for many years, our bus and rail system will continue to degrade, as will the public transportation service that we all depend on. Lack of adequate funding for public transportation invariably leads to more deferred maintenance and degraded service, and ultimately digs a deeper and deeper fiscal hole to dig out of. Further, an inability to keep up with system maintenance and needed capital investments, not only degrades transit service, it also jeopardizes our ability to qualify for the federal funds needed for critical projects like the Buffalo-Amherst extension. Leadership and support from Assemblyman Ryan and Assemblywoman McMahon are critical and greatly appreciated.
Presented by Hal Morse, Executive Director of the GBNRTC on August 23, 2017 to Citizens for Regional Transit.
See this fact sheet for a comparison.