APTA/Industry Leaders Address COVID-19 Challenges, Need for More Funding


The American Public Transportation Association (APTA) hosted a press call on May 12th to discuss the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on the public transportation industry, and APTA’s recent request on behalf of the industry for $23.8 billion in emergency response and recovery funding.

APTA has urged Congress and the Administration to provide $23.8 billion in additional emergency funding to offset the extraordinary direct costs and revenue losses caused by the COVID-19 crisis. This funding would allow transit agencies across the country to continue to provide essential services and support the economic recovery of our communities and the nation.

“It is imperative that agencies receive federal support so that they can survive and help our nation recover from the economic fallout of the pandemic,” said APTA President and CEO Paul P. Skoutelas. “Without significant additional emergency funding, we will not be able to serve our essential riders, as well as help our communities recover both economically and socially.”

“As an industry, we are preparing for a safer, brighter, and more dynamic future,” said Nuria I. Fernandez, APTA Chair, and General Manager and CEO of Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority. “Recovery will be a dynamic process. But I am confident that if our industry has the resources it needs, we will recover and become even more essential to America’s mobility network.”

Skoutelas and Fernandez were joined on the call by several transit industry leaders, who offered their perspectives on the pandemic’s effect on the industry as well as the need for immediate emergency funding.

“It’s difficult to predict how or when our communities will recover from this particular crisis. With no clear end point in sight, we have to prepare for what the ‘new normal’ may be. Transit is a resilient industry and I am confident we can take on that challenge. This pandemic has changed how people perceive their world, and we will adapt and find new ways to provide a critical public transit service to our community.”

– Jeff Nelson, APTA Vice Chair, and General Manager of the Rock Island County Metropolitan Mass Transit District (MetroLink)

“From Day One of this crisis, public transit was deemed an essential service and CTA has worked extremely hard to provide service for essential workers—like the heroic doctors, nurses and other healthcare professionals, working each day—and for essential travel. We echo and support APTA’s call to Congressional leaders to provide additional funding for public transit agencies across the country as we prepare a versatile, strategic framework to meet the demands of the ‘new normal.’”

– CTA President Dorval R. Carter, Jr.

“Thanks to our heroic workforce, the MTA has continued to provide robust service to move our essential workers and make sure New York can survive the COVID crisis. Washington must recognize the huge financial impacts this has had and provide additional funding for transit agencies to replace revenue streams decimated by the current crisis. This is a national crisis that calls out for national response.”

-Janno Lieber, President of MTA Construction & Development

“Public transportation must grasp the opportunity to emerge from this crisis stronger, more resilient, and more creative to serve the mobility needs of our future communities.”

-Therese W. McMillan, Executive Director, Metropolitan Transportation Commission and Association of Bay Area Governments.

Source: Passenger Transport