Regional Recovery Task Force Outlines Recommendations for Supporting Mass Transit in the Midst of COVID-19 Pandemic
Parsippany, NJ -- The Regional Recovery Task Force released their third report today outlining recommendations to congressional leadership on mass transit as we adapt to the COVID-19 pandemic. The report follows the task force’s meeting with Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) Chairman and CEO Patrick Foye, who also served from 2011 and 2017 as the Executive Director for the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey.
“North Jersey residents rely on mass transit to get to work and our entire region is interconnected by our transit system,” said Rep. Sherrill. “We must work to make our systems safe and ensure they have the resources they need to successfully get our economy back up and running. It’s critical that Congress supports these efforts.”
“I want to thank Chairman Foye for his leadership during this critical time,” said Rep. King. “It is imperative that Congress ensures the sustainability of New York’s transit system so that residents can return to their jobs, schools and way of life.”
“As we cautiously reopen the Eastern Seaboard, bringing mass transit back to speed is going to be an essential but complicated element,” said Rep. Himes. “The rail system is an irreplaceable artery in Southwest Connecticut, which is why we’re going to listen to experts like Chairman Foye and the Centers for Disease Control to ensure we adopt a safe and fact-based approach.”
“I want to thank Chairman Foye for speaking with us about the challenges facing our transit system during this pandemic,” said Rep. Fitzpatrick. “Our transit workers have been on the frontlines of COVID-19, and we must ensure that every worker has the resources they need to stay safe on the job.”
The Regional Recovery Task Force highlighted key opportunities for congressional action:
- The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) can establish guidelines for the amount of social distancing required on mass transit;
- Congress can also support research and development of new technologies specifically for mass transit systems that aid social distancing and infection control;
- Congress can provide additional aid to support mass transit so they can continue this vital service despite steep decreases in revenue.
Representatives Mikie Sherrill (D-NJ) and Pete King (R-NY) formed the Regional Recovery Task Force with Representatives Lisa Blunt Rochester (D-DE), Brian Fitzpatrick (R-PA), Jim Himes (D-CT), Sean Patrick Maloney (D-NY), Dan Meuser (R-PA), Elise Stefanik (R-NY), and Bonnie Watson Coleman (D-NJ). The task force is working with leading experts across key fields to put forth bipartisan recommendations and policy proposals for near- and medium-term efforts to get Americans back to work, and address critical questions facing the United States in the coming weeks and months, particularly in the Northeast.
The Regional Recovery Task Force’s third report can be found here.