Transit planners discuss the future of NYC transit post-coronavirus at Commercial Observer’s virtual transportation conference.

BY REBECCA BAIRD-REMBA | APRIL 29, 2020 11:06 AM

As the tri-state region considers life after the coronavirus pandemic, transit agencies are dealing with huge declines in ridership and revenue that will affect their ability to operate service and work on major infrastructure projects once people start traveling and commuting again.

The Port Authority of New York & New Jersey saw a 97 percent decrease in passengers at JFK, LaGuardia and Newark Airports, 95 percent ridership decline on the PATH trains, and a 60 percent decline in traffic on its bridges and tunnels, the agency’s executive director, Rick Cotton, said during yesterday’s Commercial Observer transportation forum. The agency’s ten-year, $37 billion capital plan will require billions in federal funding to get back on track, in order to cover the shortfalls from the farebox and airport revenue.

“The dramatic decline in passenger traffic across our facilities is just extraordinary,” Cotton noted during his keynote address. “Our revenue is highly dependent on facility volumes and associated tolls and fees. Normally our revenues exceed our operating expenses and we devote every dollar to expanding and impr