The weekday subway service could be cut in half and over 9,000 transit workers could lose their jobs. This estimation is under an MTA budget proposal that was presented to the agency's board on November 18.
However, the potential cuts could be mitigated if the transit agency receives a COVID-19 relief package from the federal government of around $12 billion, according to Ken Lovett, the MTA senior adviser.
The MTA board will vote on management's proposal in December 2020 and the advocates are warning that without the federal help, the cuts that could result in the loss of 9,000 are coming, according to ABC News.
Lisa Daglian from the Permanent Citizens Advisory Committee, the MTA's in-house advocacy group, said that riders will be hard hit by unfathomable cuts unless the feds will jump in and help, and it is something that they can do immediately.
Daglian added that the MTA can't just cut its way out of the situation without severely affecting riders, the region and the economy. She said that they need help and they need it as soon as possible.
The MTA's subway and buses would bear the burnt of planned downsizing, with over 8,000 jobs cut between both branches of service.
The two combined would be subjected to more than $1.1 billion in budget cuts, contributing to the proposed 40% in weekday subway services, according to The Washington Post.
Commuter railroads operated by the MTA, including the Long Island Rail Road and Metro-North Railroad, would lose about $250 million and roughly 1,000 workers under the plan, according to the MTA sources.
Overall, the MTA proposal sheds more than $1.4 billion in services, though the actual savings to the MTA's bottom lines are expected to be around $1.3 billion.
Tony Utan, the president of the Transport Workers Union Local 100, slammed the MTA budget proposal and demanded that the agency draw up a new plan.
Utano, who represents 40,000 transit workers, said in a statement that the MTA's budget proposal is an outrageous and cowardly surrender to the Coronavirus, and it is a slap in the face of every transit worker.
Utano said that they should go back to the drawing board and should come up with real solutions. He added that tossing thousands of workers onto the street and leaving entire neighborhoods whiteout service are not answers.
Unemployment rate in New York
New York has been hit hard by the pandemic, with roughly 24,000 deaths recorded. The city is known as being the epicenter of finance, media, fashion, culture and entertainment.
The once busy streets of New York City is now quiet, and almost 300,000 residents have fled the state within the last eight months according to Forbes.
The number is possibly higher, as the data does not include all members of the household. A massive number of people who are leaving are the wealthy ones and they have the financial means to purchase homes in the suburbs of Connecticut and New Jersey. People have now migrated to lower-cost, warm-weather states with low taxes, especially now that they can work remotely.