Apta says public transport operators are recording “dramatic reductions in ridership” due to work-place restrictions. Apta estimates that its members face $US 14bn in losses in both fare and sales tax revenue, while $US 2bn is needed for additional direct costs including more stringent cleaning.

“Public transit agencies are being massively impacted, and immediate measures need to be taken to ensure these agencies can continue to provide essential services to their communities now and in the future,” says Mr Paul Skoutelas, Apta’s president and CEO. “It cannot be overstated - without these funds, the overwhelming majority of public transit agencies will be required to either drastically curtail services or suspend services altogether. The time to act is now.”

“It is vital that this legislative action includes funding to support essential public transport services across the country, such as providing paratransit services for individuals with disabilities; public transport for health care workers, law enforcement, first responder, and other safety personnel; and Medicaid recipients who receive medical transport for kidney dialysis, cancer treatments, and other critical care,” Apta says.