"Biden Plan to Boost Public Transit Funding: Visionary or Wasteful?"

"If President Joe Biden gets his way, the federal government will double public transit funding in the coming years. He sees it as an essential part of his proposed $2 trillion infrastructure package: a way to reduce traffic congestion, improve air quality and meet rider demand.

Public transit supporters say it’s a bold move—and one that’s sorely needed.

“It’s an ambitious goal and potentially transformational,” said Alex Engel, a spokesperson for the National Association of City Transportation Officials. “It’s something we haven’t seen in decades.”

But critics point out that transit ridership has plummeted during the COVID-19 pandemic. They say no one knows when—or whether—it will return to normal levels, and pumping tens of billions more dollars into public transit is unwise.

“It’s a very bad idea,” said David Ditch, a transportation policy analyst at the Heritage Foundation, a conservative Washington, D.C.-based think tank. “It doesn’t make sense to increase funding now. A few years from now, once we know what the post-pandemic world looks like, we can always come back later and see what the trends are.”"

Jenni Bergal reports for Pew Stateline April 28, 2021.

Source: Pew/Stateline, 05/04/2021