A blue-line Valley Transit Authority (VTA) light rail arrives at the San Antonio Station in San Jose, Calif., on Oct. 6, 2021. (Harika Maddala/ Bay City News)

State lawmakers announced the creation this week of a select committee in the state Senate that will focus on how to assist Bay Area public transit agencies that are still reeling from the COVID-19 pandemic.

Sen. Scott Wiener, D-San Francisco, will chair the Senate Select Committee on Bay Area Public Transit. The committee will also include state Sens. Nancy Skinner, D-Berkeley; Steve Glazer, D-Orinda; Bill Dodd, D-Napa; Aisha Wahab, D-Fremont; and Mike Maguire, D-San Rafael.

Many Bay Area public transit agencies are still struggling to rebound to pre-pandemic ridership levels as some industries have permanently moved to working remotely.

BART ridership routinely sits between 50 and 70 percent of its expected ridership on weekends, but weekday ridership has hit a ceiling of roughly 30 to 40 percent of expected ridership.

Transit officials have argued the long-term lack of ridership will require either public subsidization of public transit agencies or deep and wide-ranging cuts to service.

“The Bay Area relies on public transportation, and we are in a critical moment to decide its future,” Wiener said in a statement. “The select committee will help by calling leaders and advocates to testify on how our transit system can recover from the pandemic, adapt to increased levels of remote work, improve the experience for riders, transition to clean energy, increase system integration and improve project delivery.”