Metro-North Railroad President Catherine Rinaldi, Assemblywoman Amy Paulin and Bronxville Mayor Mary Marvin joined labor leaders and advocates today to demand that any federal emergency funding bill cover all transportation sectors, not just one, and to urgently call on the United States Congress and White House to authorize $12 billion in desperately needed COVID-19-related relief for the MTA to avert draconian railroad service reductions of up to 50%, fare increases, layoffs and the gutting the MTA’s historic capital plan. The coalition also insisted the bill include at least $32 billion in total emergency aid for public transportation across the country, which is critical to the nation’s economic recovery.
Because of the once-in-a-hundred-year COVID-19 pandemic, the MTA’s 2020-2024 Capital Plan is already on hold – a direct hit to Metro-North and MTA customers, employees, suppliers and the region as a whole. The Authority’s capital expenditures generate nearly $50 billion in infrastructure investments and more than 100,000 jobs nationwide – making it one of the nation’s largest drivers of economic activity. Without needed federal funding, the MTA could be forced to severely scale back the historic $51.5 billion capital construction plan desperately needed to modernize the railroad and expand the New Haven Line to Penn Station via four new stations in the Bronx.
Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic in New York in March, Metro-North Railroad has played a critical role in helping riders get to their location safely, ensuring doctors, nurses and so many other essential employees get to their jobs on the front lines. While customers have been returning to the system as the region has reopened, ridership on Metro-North is still no more than a quarter of pre-pandemic levels. Currently, Metro-North is operating at 63% of its pre-pandemic schedule.
-via Press Release