Harlem’s Espaillat, Jeffries Urge Leadership For More Public Transit COVID Relief

September 25, 2020

Representative Adriano Espaillat and Representative Hakeem Jeffries led members of the New York Congressional Delegation to send a letter to Congressional leaders.

The letter is calling for the inclusion of additional emergency transit funding in a forthcoming COVID-19 relief bill or, if need be, a continuing resolution. Specifically, the bipartisan letter urges additional federal COVID-19 emergency funding to support the New York Metropolitan Transportation Authority’s (MTA) and other transit agencies around the nation impacted by the coronavirus pandemic.

“Public transit agencies around the country continue to face immense hardship due to dramatic declines in ridership and enormous revenue losses in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, with losses reaching upwards of multiple billions of dollars and drastically exceeding the reach of initial relief from the CARES Act,”

“Public transit agencies around the country continue to face immense hardship due to dramatic declines in ridership and enormous revenue losses in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, with losses reaching upwards of multiple billions of dollars and drastically exceeding the reach of initial relief from the CARES Act,” said Rep. Espaillat.

“The MTA has been hit especially hard as New York City saw itself as the outbreak’s epicenter. Not only has the MTA taken aggressive action to limit non-essential travel and to support the transport of thousands of public and private sector essential workers, but these efforts were pursued at the expense of billions in revenue and the lives of 68 MTA employees – the MTA now finds itself is approaching doomsday.”

“The MTA has been hit especially hard as New York City saw itself as the outbreak’s epicenter. Not only has the MTA taken aggressive action to limit non-essential travel and to support the transport of thousands of public and private sector essential workers, but these efforts were pursued at the expense of billions in revenue and the lives of 68 MTA employees – the MTA now finds itself is approaching doomsday.”


“After months of shouldering the brunt of the financial burden, and with little change in sight, it is simply not possible for the MTA to sustain itself without further federal financial relief. The MTA cannot be allowed to collapse as New York City and the nation continues the fight against COVID-19. We must keep the MTA from financial ruin and ensure that the MTA can continue reliably running during and after the pandemic,” said Rep. Jeffries.

“The MTA has historically relied on state and local resources in times of fiscal difficulty, but with losses now having reached unprecedented levels, only the federal government is equipped with enough resources to ensure its survival – and it must do so for the millions of New Yorkers whose livelihoods rely on it every single day,”

“The MTA has historically relied on state and local resources in times of fiscal difficulty, but with losses now having reached unprecedented levels, only the federal government is equipped with enough resources to ensure its survival – and it must do so for the millions of New Yorkers whose livelihoods rely on it every single day,” continued Rep. Espaillat. “We’re now urging Congressional leadership to fulfill the MTA’s request for additional emergency funding in a bipartisan COVID-19 relief package or, at best, as part of a continuing resolution for stop-gap federal funding.”

First elected to Congress in 2016, Rep. Adriano Espaillat is serving his second term in Congress where he serves as a member of the influential U.S. House Foreign Affairs Committee, the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure, and the House Small Business Committee. He serves as a Senior Whip of the House Democratic Caucus and is a member of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus (CHC) where he also serves in a leadership role as CHC Whip.


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He is also chairman of the CHC Task Force for Transportation, Infrastructure and Housing. Rep. Espaillat’s Congressional District includes Harlem, East Harlem, northern Manhattan and the north-west Bronx. To find out more about Rep. Espaillat, visit online at https://espaillat.house.gov/.

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