MTA Getting $4 Billion In Virus Relief Bill, But May Need More

Steve Burns
March 25, 2020 - 3:31 pm
Blurred Subway Train

Mario Tama/Getty Images

NEW YORK (WCBS 880) — A $4 billion bailout package is headed to the MTA as part of the latest federal coronavirus relief bill, but the agency says it'll likely need even more.

MTA Chairman Pat Foye called the bailout funding “a healthy amount” but stressed that the agency is still facing issues. All public transportation networks across the country will get a combined $25 billion.

“We're only at the starting point of the crisis. We will need substantially more than that to survive,” he said.

Asked why he didn't request more money in the first place, Foye said there are still a lot of unknowns.

“We've planned for disruptions in the past, but never on this scale or scope,” the chairman said.

The MTA is losing about $125 million a week thanks to the steep drop in ridership. It stands to lose even more as tax revenue dries up.

It's announced what it calls the “Essential Service Plan,” to preserve rush hour trains, but cut some express routes.

Workforce availability is also a concern as MTA officials have said 52 workers have tested positive for coronavirus, but it declined to say how many overall are quarantined or calling out of work.