Public transit across the country has seen a roller coaster of ridership since the pandemic first hit. Now, it looks to the future and the hope that riders return.
“A lot of medical workers ride transit every day, people who work in distribution centers, grocery stores, these are people who keep cities running, and we really need transit to carry these workers through the depths of this pandemic,” said Ben Fried of Transit Center, a non-profit that advocates for better public transportation in American cities.
Fried says public transit nationwide has seen fewer riders than normal ever since stay-at-home orders were first enacted.
“We have seen transit climb back a little bit in terms of ridership. At the peak, it was down 90-95%. Now, depending on the system, it’s typically down about 75% of normal rates,” Fried said.
“(We’ve seen) a significant decrease. We normally carry 400,000 riders a day.