COVID-19 has affected almost every aspect of daily life, and transportation is no exception, especially in cities that rely on mass transit. Urban mass transit systems facilitate the efficient movement of large numbers of people through limited street space, unlocking affordable access to livelihoods, schools, health services, food and recreation, and fueling the physical, social and economic health of people and communities. The pandemic has nevertheless prompted a rapid movement away from the use of mass transit worldwide, where physical distancing can be especially challenging to practice. Despite concerns, recent research and evidence from cities offers no clear evidence that mass transit is a major driver of COVID-19 infections.
Taking a public health approach to ensure safe and resilient mobility systems during the COVID-19 era, transit leaders from Mexico City, Istanbul, Accra, and ten other cities in the Partnership convened with mobility and public health experts to discuss: health intelligence related to transit ridership and infection rates, maintaining essential transportation services for urban residents and new ways of communicating with both riders and operators.