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A Brooklyn MTA station on Nov. 18 in New York City. Photo: Spencer Platt/Getty Images

Public transit officials in cities across the country are pleading for federal help, as many brace for steep budget cuts in response to financial crises brought on by the coronavirus pandemic.

Why it matters: Transit agencies have seen ridership and fare revenues plummet since the beginning of the pandemic. With no help from Congress yet in sight, some "have started to outline doomsday service plans that would take effect next year," writes the New York Times.

Yes, but: A bipartisan group of senators has outlined a $908 billion coronavirus relief package that includes $15 billion for public transit agencies.

  • The plan would provide just under half of the $32 billion that transit leaders have called for, per the NYT.

Zoom in: Officials in New York City, facing a $15.9 billion deficit through 2024, unveiled a plan that would cut subway and bus service by 40%, while slashing commuter rail service in half, per the Times.

The bottom line: The budget slashes "could hobble the recoveries of major cities from New York to Los Angeles and San Francisco, where reliable transit is a lifeblood of the local economies," writes the Times.

  • The cuts would especially harm minority and low-income people, as they tend to use public transportation more frequently than other groups, the Times notes.

Go deeper

Rep. Lou Correa tests positive for COVID-19

Lou Correa. Photo: Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images

Rep. Lou Correa (D-Calif.) announced on Saturday that he has tested positive for the coronavirus.

Why it matters: Correa is the latest Democratic lawmaker to share his positive test results after last week's deadly Capitol riot. Correa did not shelter in the designated safe zone with his congressional colleagues during the siege, per a spokesperson, instead staying outside to help Capitol Police.

Updated 2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

  1. Health: CDC director defends agency's response to pandemic — CDC warns highly transmissible coronavirus variant could become dominant in U.S. in March.
  2. Politics: Biden readies massive shifts in policy for his first days in office.
  3. Vaccine: Fauci: 100 million doses in 100 days is "absolutely" doable.
  4. Economy: Unemployment filings explode again.
  5. Tech: Kids' screen time sees a big increase.
  6. World: WHO team arrives in China to investigate pandemic origins.
Dave Lawler, author of World
3 hours ago - World

Alexey Navalny detained after landing back in Moscow

Navalny and his wife shortly before he was detained. Photo: Kirill Kudryavtsev/AFP via Getty

Russian opposition leader Alexey Navalny was detained upon his return to Moscow on Sunday, which came five months after he was poisoned with the nerve agent Novichok. He returned despite being warned that he would be arrested.

The latest: Navalny was stopped at a customs checkpoint and led away alone by officers. He appeared to hug his wife goodbye, and his spokesman reports that his lawyer was not allowed to accompany him.