While highway traffic volumes are getting closer to pre-pandemic levels, public transportation usage continues to be down significantly, creating concerns for Amtrak, SEPTA and public transportation agencies across the Commonwealth.
Amtrak is asking for $1.7 billion in federal money for its Northeast Corridor alone and says it may cut 2,400 jobs without it. Its ridership is about 25% of the pre-Covid level and is projected to hit only 40% in the coming months.
SEPTA reports that ridership is only 10% to 15% of what it was before the pandemic, and service cuts and layoffs will occur without additional revenue.
These problems are a reminder that a return to anything approaching “normal” is a long way off. Let’s hope the quest for an effective vaccine goes quickly.
TRANSPORTATION ISSUE UPDATE
- Amtrak’s CEO laid out the passenger rail provider’s dilemma in a letter to congressional leaders.
- SEPTA’s ridership is returning more slowly than anticipated.
- Whether highway traffic ever returns to pre-Covid levels remains to be seen.
- A new study from Harvard University found that plans to transform the transportation sector and reduce air pollution could result in major health benefits for those living in the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast regions.
- A project to reconnect Pittsburgh’s Hill District to downtown is well underway about a year before its projected completion.