HUNTINGTON, WV (WOWK) – Public transit systems nationwide are struggling to operate during the pandemic, despite receiving $25 million through the “Cares Act” to sustain services.
Cities like Chicago and Phoenix, Arizona have had to make cut to its routes and bus drivers as ridership dwindles.
The Tri-state Transit Authority in Huntington has seen a decrease in ridership, but not to the extreme like large metropolitan areas.
One third of its riders has decreased and through local levies, have managed to stay financially stable.
Tri-State Transit Authority CEO, Paul Davis said, “that’s the reason we’ve been able to continue our operation and in fact, we haven’t cut any routes, we haven’t laid anybody off, we’re working everyday as we normally would.”
Davis explained that the community relies heavily on transit to go to work, go to the grocery store, etc, and the TTA has provided the proper PPE for its riders and drivers to provide a safe experience.
In the spring, $25 billion dollars was set aside nationwide and $55 million came to West Virginia transit systems to help fund operations, but on the national level, the American Public Transportation Association reports agencies are still facing a $23.8 billion dollar shortfall.
Davis said the TTA is lucky to be in a position unlike other transit system in the state.
“Some of our neighbors, like up north, their ridership has been hurt because of WVU,” said Davis.