But mass transit is also critical for reaching long-term goals such as slowing climate change. New York has the lowest per capita transit emissions in the U.S. thanks to mass transit. Fewer riders will translate to higher greenhouse gas emissions as well as more air pollution. Poor air quality has been linked to dire health outcomes, including increased risk from Covid-19.

Pearlstein of Riders Alliance also points out that mass transit disproportionately serves low-income and minority communities. “Adequate funding for these systems is a primary racial justice issue of our time,” he said.

This article was provided by Bloomberg News.

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