Covid 19: Transit - Serving Communities Optimally, Responsively, and Efficiently

Grants and Contracts Details


UTC - Strategic Implications of Changing Public Transportation Travel Trends FAST Act Research Priority Area: Improving Mobility of People and Goods Research Statement Abstract: Over the past five years, public transportation ridership in the United States has declined nearly 8 percent with declines in certain metropolitan areas greater than 20 percent. This has occurred simultaneously with record economic activity, population growth and generally enhanced transit capacity. A growing body of research has identified a host of contributing factors including increased telecommuting and e-commerce, competition from transportation network companies, significant increases in auto availability complemented by low fuel and auto finance costs, increased driver license levels, dispersion of low income population from well served transit areas to less transit accessible environments, and robust population growth more common in geographies with less extensive transit service levels. These meaningful changes in ridership coupled with anticipation of increasingly competitive options such as the prospect of automated mobility-as-a-service/mobility on demand travel choices, more efficient and electrified personal vehicles, more micromobility options for short urban trips and increasing opportunities to forego travel by substitution of communications, have created uncertainty as to the future demand, financial sustainability, and strategic role for public transportation. While the fundamental motivations for public transportation - providing a travel option especially for those persons without access to personal vehicles and providing a resource efficient means of moving volumes of people - remain highly supported, the extent to which public transportation services can evolve to sustained or enhance their contribution towards attaining these goals merits study. Uncertainty regarding future competitiveness is exacerbated as major public transportation capital investments typically depend on a 50+ year deployment and amortization schedules which raises questions about investment risks for an increasingly capital-intensive industry. This research initiative will synthesize current national trends, explore the variance in trends across contexts, and identify the strategic challenges and opportunities associated with positioning public transportation to prepare for the future. This research initiative will frame current trends, informed by literature review, data analysis and stakeholder engagement and provide findings and recommendations with respect to how transportation planning, policy, and investment priorities might change in the context of these findings. Note: A proposed task in this project will be evaluating the implications of COVID-19 on public transportation. grant-solicitation-nearly-5
Effective start/end date8/1/201/31/23


  • Georgia Institute of Technology: $172,575.00


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