Transit advocates are staging a nationwide series of demonstrations today in support of public transit, hoping to raise public awareness of a continuing crisis of service cuts, fare increases and layoffs at a time when they believe the nation should be promoting transit, not gutting it.
In Atlanta, where 30 percent of service is facing elimination, big red Xs are posted on buses that are scheduled to get the ax.
Port Authority raised fares for some riders in January and is in the midst of a service overhaul that it insists is a restructuring and not a cutback. But all bets are off if the Legislature doesn't find a way to fill the gap created by the failure of Act 44, the measure it passed in 2007 to rescue the state's transit agencies. The authority faces a $25 million budget deficit even if current funding levels are maintained -- but with the cut in Act 44 funding that follows federal rejection of the state's plan to toll Interstate 80, the gap could grow to $50 million.
This map, prepared by Transportation for America, illustrates the nationwide crisis facing transit -- the red dollar sign emblems mark cities where transit has been cut and/or fares increased. The version on the group's website is clickable with details of each city's troubles and invites riders to share their stories of how cutbacks and fare increases have affected them.