Groups Ask MTA to Share More Data During COVID Crisis


Groups Ask MTA to Increase Data Sharing to Help Make Public Case for Federal Aid During COVID Crisis

Groups Strongly Support Initial MTA Federal Rescue Package of at Least $4B

Additional Data on Ridership and Financial Condition of MTA Will Support Need for Future Federal Rescue Packages

Transit, environmental and other advocates strongly support the MTA’s request for at least $4B in initial federal emergency funds. Last week, groups sent our U.S. senators and congressional representatives letters (see here and here) urging them to bring home this funding for the MTA.

To help us make the case for this, and future emergency aid, the 11 groups, including Environmental Advocates of NY, Jobs to Move America, New York Lawyers for the Public Interest, New York League of Conservation Voters, NYPIRG Straphangers Campaign, Permanent Citizens Advisory Committee to the MTA (PCAC), Regional Plan Association, Reinvent Albany, Riders Alliance, Transportation Alternatives and Tri-State Transportation Campaign asked the MTA Board to ensure MTA management publicly releases complete and timely information about the MTA’s ridership and finances.

Advocates and our elected representatives will best be able to support the MTA’s funding requests if it provides additional data, including financial projections showing multiple possibilities, including best, medium and worst-case scenarios. The groups asked for information to be released in open data format, and through a dashboard, if possible, to allow the public to visualize the following information:

  • Daily and weekly ridership numbers across all MTA transit systems, including paratransit, noting decline from past year figures
  • Daily and weekly driver numbers across all MTA bridges and tunnels, noting decline from past year figures
  • Current and projected revenue from ridership dropoff, as well as projected losses from the farebox across all MTA systems
  • Current and projected losses from toll revenue across MTA bridges and tunnels
  • Current and projected losses to MTA dedicated taxes
  • Current and projected costs to MTA for COVID-19 related cleaning and other emergency response initiatives, including overtime

Release of timely, complete and open ridership and financial information will be crucial to efforts to gain federal funding commensurate with the MTA’s needs to bring the agency out of this crisis, as there will be many requests for federal aid.

The group letter to the MTA Board is available here.