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Coronavirus Is Putting LA Metro Deep In The Hole

(Photo Courtesy Steve Hymon/L.A. Metro via Flickr)
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The coronavirus pandemic continues to take a toll on public transportation services across the Los Angeles.

LA Metro already scaled back weekday bus and rail services due to the outbreak – in recent weeks, ridership has plummeted by 70 to 80%.

That's put a big dent in farebox revenue. Ordinarily, Metro would expect $23 million from riders each month.

The agency is also contending with a steep drop in sales tax revenue from L.A. County, its largest source of funding. The county shortfall is projected at more than one billion dollars from March through the end of August. Metro CEO Phil Washington told our public affairs show AirTalk today that the agency is banking on federal stimulus dollars through the CARE Act:

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"All of that is in the mix, if you will. But our losses will exceed anything we get from the federal government."

Washington says he wants to avoid furloughing staff to balance Metro's budget, adding that the revenue situation is being reviewed on a day-by-day basis. The agency is calculating the overall cost of providing face masks and other personal protective equipment to its drivers, rail operators, and other staff.


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