Virginia public transit finds reduced ridership, zero fare

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — Virginia public transit systems from Northern Virginia to Hampton Roads are looking for a path forward after losing riders and revenue during the pandemic.

Some transit systems have been harder hit than others. Gov. Ralph Northam issued a state of emergency in March of last year in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The move prompted limits on public and private gatherings, telework policies and mandates to wear masks in public, although some restrictions have eased.

Greater Richmond Transit Co. faced a “potentially catastrophic budget deficit” since eliminating fares last March in response to the pandemic and reductions in public funding starting in July of this year, according to the organization’s annual report.

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