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The Tri-County Metropolitan Transportation District of Oregon (TriMet) last week adjusted its budget as the financial impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic become clearer.
TriMet expects to lose about $63 million in revenue through June, and projects a $135.4 million loss for fiscal-year 2021, which starts July 1.
To cut costs, TriMet has reduced service by about 20 percent since April 5, suspended some climate action efforts, temporarily postponed plans to transition the MAX light-rail system to wind-powered electricity, and suspended hiring of people to fill nonessential positions.
“These are difficult decisions, but they allow us to keep our focus on service and keeping people employed,” agency officials said in a press release.
TriMet received nearly $185 million from the federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act to help offset the losses. While the funds have helped TriMet pay expenses, they are not enough to cover the full cost of responding to the COVID crisis, as well as allow TriMet to expand services next year, officials said.
TriMet has spent about $4.4 million on elevated cleaning efforts, and fare revenue was down by $20 million for FY2020.
The agency said it expects fare revenue to remain down in fiscal 2021, by some $61 million.
Meanwhile, some U.S. passenger-rail agencies this month will restore some rail service to pre-pandemic levels. Following are the latest updates by agency: