Congress passed a historic $2.2 trillion stimulus package, the largest in American history, which is designed to provide widespread economic relief to the country in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The new law crucially includes $1.3 billion in federal stimulus funding for Bay Area transit operators to backfill the revenue losses they have already incurred during this crisis and ensure that they stay afloat for when the region eventually returns to work. Bay Planning Coalition was a vocal advocate in securing this robust federal assistance for the Bay Area, as our regional economy depends on its strong transit systems that connect residents by train, bus, and ferry to their jobs.
These transit systems are also playing a critical role in the Bay Area’s response to the pandemic, having been declared an essential service during this state of emergency. Yet the systems have suffered over 90 percent service cuts as the state is ordered to stay home, resulting in severe revenue losses which is projected to total over a billion dollars through the end of the year. The funding secured in the stimulus package will ensure that the transit operators can avert severe service cuts that would hurt both transit workers and commuters throughout the region and ensure that our region can return to normal as quickly as possible while also meeting our long-term climate change goals.