Transportation Post-COVID: It’s Time To Transform Mass Transit

  • Date: 04/05/2021

Public buses and trains would seem to be obvious COVID super-spreader sites. No matter how carefully or frequently disinfected they are, the mere turnover of people and difficulty of social distancing in cramped vehicles has sent ridership plummeting. Once a beacon of hope for reducing greenhouse gas emissions and a way to level the economic playing field between the haves and have-nots of automobile ownership, mass transit now faces an existential crisis that portends a bumpy ride for when the post-COVID era dawns.

To thrive post-COVID, transit systems will need to reconceive their schedules and expand the available services, says SMART Deputy General Manager Robert Cramer. SMART already dropped several commuter routes designed to carry workers from the suburbs to downtown when widespread telecommuting took hold last year. 

“It’s not a matter of when we turn services back on, but what services we turn back on,” Cramer says.

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