A recent survey by the Metropolitan Transportation Authority reveals that barely one in six New Yorkers are likely to return to fully using transit services.
The MTA surveyed in March over 33,000 people who used transit three times a week at most. Of those surveyed, less than 15% said they would increase usage to five days a week, and only 33% said they would increase their current transit commute at all.
About 61% of New Yorkers said they no longer need to use transit since they now work from home. About 75% of those surveyed said they are actually afraid of using transit because of concerns about crime, harassment and health safety.
Officials warn this could lead to disastrous consequences for the MTA. The authority planned to cover 38% of its $17 billion annual operating budget with transit fares. It is now estimated that the MTA will only receive enough fare revenue to cover 10% of its expenses.
The MTA was losing an estimated $125 million each week last year. Despite gaining $12 billion from three different COVID-19 relief bills since March 2020, it claims that another $4 billion will be needed in order to meet its needs through 2024.