Latest news



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

CityLab Daily

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

More on CityLab

How Metro Areas Voted in the 2020 Election
America's economic geography is organized around its metropolitan areas. Presidential election results show how factors like class and density define their politics. 
States and Cities Plead for More Time to Spend Federal Covid Aid
Local governments are using stimulus funds for safety-net needs like rental and food aid. With demand surging, they're scrambling to spend it before the deadline.
With Virus Spreading in Homes, U.S. Governors Run Out of Weapons
Governors and mayors have cracked down on public spaces, but enforcement is proving almost useless in homes, where some leaders say small gatherings are fueling outbreaks.

What we're reading

  • Angry parents won't let officials slide over closed playgrounds, packed malls (Los Angeles Times)
  • How Iowa mishandled the coronavirus pandemic (The Atlantic)
  • The rancher trying to solve the West's water crisis (Politico)
  • A pandemic reprieve for mountain resorts and for skiers (NPR)
  • How a flu virus shut down the U.S. economy in 1872 – by infecting horses (The Conversation)
  • Illegal structures are widespread, and deadly, in China (Inkstone News)
  • How eBird Changed Birding Forever (Outside Magazine)

Like getting the CityLab Daily newsletter? Subscribe to for unlimited access to trusted, data-driven journalism and gain expert analysis from exclusive subscriber-only newsletters.


Post a comment