Blumenberg on Pandemic’s Impact on Transit Riders

Urban Planning Professor Evelyn Blumenberg spoke to Time about mass transit systems across the country that are floundering amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Sinking ridership has fueled extreme budget shortfalls, forcing transit authorities to slash routes and delay scheduled expansions, the article said. Blumenberg, director of UCLA’s Lewis Center for Regional Policy Studies, said diminished transit services will severely impact Americans on the bottom rung of the income ladder. “Transit ridership has always been disproportionately low-income, non-white riders, immigrant riders,” Blumenberg said. “That composition is even more disproportionately poor, non-white and immigrants during the pandemic.” Congress is considering a new coronavirus relief package that is likely to include limited assistance for U.S. transit systems, the article noted, but it added that additional investments are needed to spur economic recovery and address inequality. 

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