(KRON) — Public transit agencies are not recovering fast enough from the pandemic, and if the state doesn’t step in, irreversible service cuts will soon become the normal across California.

“Right now, we have an emergency where in the next 12 to 24 months we’re going to see massive debilitating cuts by transit agencies that are going to be potentially impossible to reverse,” said California State Senator Scott Wiener.

Weiner said the funding issue facing public transit agencies across the state is not about whether trains and buses will run on time, but whether they will run at all.

“At the depth of the pandemic, our ridership had fallen by 90-95 percent on many of these systems. Ridership is recovering, but it’s not recovering quick enough,” said Wiener.

This downturn in riders has led to a downturn in revenue, which Wiener said means dramatic service cuts unless the governor changes course and state legislators agree to provide five billion dollars in funding over the next five years.

“We can absolutely do that with a combination of funding and flexibility. So, this is a problem that is not out of our grasp. It is very fixable,” said Wiener.

Muni, for example, will hit its fiscal cliff in 2025 with a deficit of 130 million dollars that year and 215 million dollars the following year.

“That’s the equivalent of 20 bus lines. If I need to cut 20 Muni lines in 2025, I need to start this summer, eliminating one line per month until our budget balances, unless there’s some assurance from the state and regional and local governments that I can close my deficits,” said Jeffrey Tumlin, SFMTA transportation director.

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Transit advocates are hoping that won’t happen because they say it will be devasting to many Californians.

“If we allow the transit systems to unravel, we are going to see huge economic consequences as workers can’t get to work. We are going to see huge impacts on our low-income communities, our transit-dependent communities. We will also completely undermine our climate goals,” said Wiener.