Public transit hopes to win back riders after crushing year

WASHINGTON (AP) — As President Joe Biden urges more federal spending on public transportation, transit agencies decimated by COVID-19 are struggling to figure out how to win back passengers. Commuting patterns are changing as work-from-home arrangements show signs of becoming a longer-term trend, and riders are still hesitant to return to potentially crowded spaces on buses and trains. Transportation officials say a key to increasing ridership will be employers reopening offices. Even so, it could take years to get riders back. Transit agencies say they’re trying different approaches to win over riders, from reduced fares to shiny new bus stops and even increased police presence at stations to restore public confidence.