Prayer #158: For Public Transportation During the Coronavirus Crisis
In some places in the United States, ridership on public transportation---buses, subways, and light rail---is down as much as 90%. People, due both to many people working from home and to fears of COVID-19 infection from crowded subway cars and commuter trains, are staying away from mass transit.
New York State's Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA), the largest public transportation system in the North American continent, recently indicated that it will need a $12 billion government bailout to weather the worst financial crisis in its 55-year history. "The MTA simply cannot wait any longer for relief from Washington," stated the chairman and CEO of the MTA, Patrick J. Foye. "New York's economic future, and the country's, relies on a strong MTA powering progress. If the Senate fails to step up and deliver $12 billion, it would be a devastating blow to mass transit as we know it." Lacking any financial help, the MTA will be forced to cut subway service by 40% and commuter rail by 50%.
Many other metropolitan areas in the nation are experiencing a similar drastic reduction in commuters. In Boston, for instance, the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority forecasts a $524 million fare revenue loss for 2020. On the West Coast, San Francisco and Seattle's mass transit systems are experiencing unprecedented losses.
Under the CARES act this spring, a total of $25 billion was given to mass transportation agencies across the country, but with conditions continuing as the COVID-19 virus remains in force, this money has been spent. Neither of the new stimulus plans proposed in Congress would provide anywhere near a sufficient amount of bailout for mass transit.
Pray for mass transportation systems across our country that are in a grave financial state. Pray for the needed money to be found to provide them with the relief to make it through this acute crisis. Pray that as COVID conditions improve, ridership will return.
Lam. 3:25-26; 40-41: "The Lord is good to those who wait for Him, to the soul that seeks Him. It is good that one should wait quietly for the salvation of the Lord. . . . Let us test and examine our ways, and return to the Lord. Let us lift our hearts and hands to God in heaven."