New TSTC-AARP Report: Seniors, Low-Income New Yorkers Hit Hard by Transit Cuts

Funding cuts to non-MTA public transportation occurring between 2008 and 2011 have had a negative impact on transportation options for elderly and low-income New Yorkers, according to the results of a groundbreaking new report released by AARP and Tri-State today.

The study examined five public transit systems across New York State—Westchester, Albany, Syracuse, Rochester, and Buffalo—and revealed that ridership has risen, even as fares have climbed in the midst of a recession.

The report found that transit ridership steadily increased during the recession, indicating that people turn to transit when money is tight. The cost of owning a car and the high price of gas appear to have been contributing factors in this shift to transit. In 2009, for example, 77% of the Capital District’s CDTA riders said that they rode the bus because they didn’t have a car available, a figure that rose from a 2008 survey. AARP research has also shown that seniors are choosing public transit for an increasing share of their trips.