The Impact of the COVID-19 Pandemic on Public Transit Funding Needs in the U.S.

At the request of the American Public Transportation Association (APTA), EBP analyzed how the 2020 COVID-19 pandemic has affected the revenues and funding needs of public transit agencies nationwide.

Based on current and forecast data on ridership losses, unemployment, state and local tax revenues, epidemiological virus infection patterns, and transit operating costs, EBP found that transit agencies are facing an overall funding shortfall of $48.8 billion between CY 2020 Q2 and the end of CY 2021. Even with the infusion of $25 billion provided by the Congress in April 2020 through the CARES Act, transit agencies will still face a shortfall of $23.8 billion through the end of CY 2021. Further, EBP’s analysis found that decreased investment in public transit capital development could also result in the loss of 37,000 construction jobs in 2020 and 34,000 construction jobs in 2021.