Coronavirus News: MTA asks federal government for $3.9 billion in emergency funding

NEW YORK (WABC) -- The MTA says it will need billions of dollars in federal money if it is going to keep operating after ridership was decimated by the coronavirus pandemic.

Officials are requesting the next federal aid package to include $3.9 billion in emergency funding, as Chairman and CEO Pat Foye said COVID-19 is creating a significant hardship on the agency.

The MTA released a new third-party economic analysis by McKinsey & Company examining the expected impact on the MTA's operating budget, which projects the full impact of the pandemic to reach up to $8.5 billion in 2020.

The analysis examines how ridership will be impacted this year when the system begins to rebound and projects a massive drop in toll and farebox revenue between $4.7 billion and $5.9 billion, a significant decline in dedicated state and local tax revenues between $1.6 billion and $1.8 billion, and a huge growth in costs associated with customer and employee safety of up to $800 million.

"I am requesting that the next federal legislation include an additional $3.9 billion to stem the immediate financial hemorrhaging in the MTA's 2020 operating budget," Foye said. "In a few short weeks, the crisis in New York has dramatically worsened, and we are projecting significant additional losses as a result of the extraordinary economic downturn facing the region and nation."

The MTA secured nearly $4 billion in federal funding through the CARES Act in March, but Foye says the crisis has since worsened dramatically in New York, dwarfing initial estimates and requiring a new and detailed economic analysis.

Ridership has declined 93% on subways, 95% on Metro-North and 97% on the Long Island Rail Road, with bridge and tunnel crossings declining 62%.

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