New Yorkers had a lot riding on the two U.S. Senate races in Georgia - their commutes.

With the two Democrats declaring victory - and Senator Charles Schumer claiming control of the U.S. Senate - transit advocates say the MTA can bank on receiving more federal funding to help plug the staggering deficits it is suffering because of the pandemic.

What You Need To Know

  • The two Democrats projected to win Georgia Senate races puts New York Sen. Charles Schumer in charge of the Senate

  • Transit advocates believe Democratic control of federal government will mean more funding that'll let the MTA weather the pandemic

  • The MTA requested $16 billion in federal laid last year

"Many of us advocates have spoken with him and his staff over the last year through the pandemic and it has been a massive priority for his office and his counterparts," said Lauren Bailey, director of climate policy at the Tri-State Transportation Campaign.

MTA Chairman Pat Foye called Schumer a champion of mass transit, adding, in a statement that, "having him as leader of the chamber would be a benefit to the millions and millions of people in New York and across the country who rely on mass transportation.”

Last year The MTA asked for $16 billion in federal aid to cover the revenue losses, additional expenses and extra debt caused by the pandemic, threatening punishing layoffs and service reductions without the money. 

It also put most of its infrastructure spending on hold.

The MTA received $4 billion in the first round of federal aid and it is expecting $4 billion from the package approved at the end of last year.

"It is quickly becoming very clear that the system does need additional help as the pandemic drags on,” said Dora Lee, research director at Belle Haven Investments, which owns MTA bonds.

She said that Democratic control of government will give the transit agency some breathing room.

"Stability means predictability, so the MTA can more carefully plan their long-term capital projects, which it's in dire need of, and also for future fare increases," she said.

To Gov. Cuomo, infrastructure projects, like the construction of a new rail tunnel under the Hudson River, will move forward.

"We had all sorts of great projects around the state that should have been going forward. Second Avenue Subway was funded by every administration, in Manhattan," he said. "The Gateway tunnels, the president didn't fund them just out of political pique."

Still, the change in Washington can only go so far. the MTA still faces some uncertainty .

"The MTA is expecting ridership to recover maybe not to pre-pandemic levels for quite sometime and how the MTA reacts to that will be critical to their long term credit quality and their financial health," said Michael Rinaldi, senior director at Fitch Ratings.