Without Commuters, US Transit Agencies Are Running Out of Options

Public transit agencies are struggling to come to grips with the possibility that daily commuters may never come back.

Authorities across the country are leaning on promotions and price cuts in an attempt to recover lost ridership with the rise of remote work during the pandemic. But long term, budgets may need to be adjusted to account for fewer ticket sales — a tough reality for systems already struggling to fund improvements and general upkeep…

Some transit systems are holding out hope ridership will eventually return. But others are adjusting to a new reality. Unless the government steps in or new sources of revenue are found, many agencies may be left with two choices. They can either cut service or raise fares, neither of which will help to bring riders back.