New York City subway service could be slashed 40 percent, officials warn

New York City subway service could be slashed 40 percent, officials warn
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New York City transit officials are warning that subway service could be slashed by 40 percent without immediate federal coronavirus relief funding. 

The Metropolitan Transit Authority (MTA) on Wednesday laid out plans to cut service amid the dwindling prospect of immediate relief, according to The New York Times. The MTA is reportedly seeking $12 billion in federal aid. 

The MTA’s plans also include 50 percent reductions in service for the Long Island Rail Road and Metro-North and cuts that could affect a quarter of its bus routes, according to NBC New York. In addition, around 9,400 MTA workers could be laid off. 


At the height of the pandemic, ridership on New York subways fell more than 90 percent, NBC New York noted, adding that it has slowly begun to increase in recent months. Subway ridership is still reportedly down 70 percent compared to pre-pandemic levels, and traffic at toll bridges and tunnels has also dipped. 

An analysis by McKinsey & Company predicts that even in the best-case scenario, ridership won’t even get up to 80 percent of its pre-pandemic levels before 2024, the Times noted. 

The transit authority received $4 billion in a previous stimulus package, according to the newspaper, and decided to borrow $2.9 billion from the Federal Reserve’s emergency program to forestall cuts. The MTA first announced service cuts in August. 

More details of the plan are expected to emerge as the board prepares to vote on a 2011 budget by December. 

Senate Minority Leader Charles SchumerChuck SchumerHillicon Valley: Biden signs order on chips | Hearing on media misinformation | Facebook's deal with Australia | CIA nominee on SolarWinds House Rules release new text of COVID-19 relief bill Budowsky: Cruz goes to Cancun, AOC goes to Texas MORE (D-N.Y.) told the Times that he’s hopeful transit assistance will be included in the next coronavirus relief package. 

“We are fighting very, very hard to get mass transit funding into the next Covid relief bill. We know how vital it is for New York,” Schumer said. “Some in the Senate have resisted, but we have overcome that resistance in the past and I am hopeful we will overcome it again.”