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Without relief, the worst transit cuts are coming to some cities

CityLab Daily
Bloomberg

Running on empty: As members of Congress negotiate potential Covid relief packages, officials at some of the largest U.S. public transit systems are warning of sweeping cuts to service and staffing if federal relief does not arrive soon. In Washington, D.C., WMATA recently laid out plans to eliminate all weekend rail service, close more than a dozen stations and reduce bus service — on top of the 1,400 layoffs already in process — to close an expanding budget gap.

The federal proposal that currently has bipartisan support would give $15 billion to transit, but even if that version passed, leaders say it's less than half of what's needed. And while better than nothing, they say it isn't enough to prevent drastic changes already taking shape in some cities, much less return systems to full service levels. The repercussions would also gut local economies: One study on the D.C. metro area's future estimates that 78% of the next 15 years in planned commercial, residential and retail construction is slated to occur within a half-mile of a Metro station, writes Laura Bliss. Today on CityLab: What Federal Proposal Mean for Local Transit Cuts

-Linda Poon

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