Smart Cities Dive: A ‘different world’ awaits transit on the other side of coronavirus

Smart Cities Dive: A 'different world' awaits transit on the other side of coronavirus

In a recent webinar dubbed, "Public Transit in the Time of COVID-19," co-hosted by mobility solutions companies Transit and Swiftly, the stage was set by a somber reminder of how the novel coronavirus has plagued the industry thus far.

"The work that we have always done has been really important, but in the past few weeks it’s literally become a matter of life and death," said Swiftly transit planner Jenn Golech at the beginning of the call. "We have lost many workers in our industry. It’s heartbreaking."

Golech's remarks were followed by a moment of silence for the public transit operators that have sacrificed their lives to keep essential transit running across the country for the good of society. In New York's Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) alone, at least 50 employees have died of COVID-19 while many more have tested positive for the virus.

This kicked off an hour-long conversation, which served as an open platform for attendees to virtually ask a panel of public transit operators, consultants and journalists advice on how to run transit operations efficiently and safely amid an unprecedented pandemic. Questions touched on everything from procurement of personal protective equipment (PPE) to the long-lasting impacts of the coronavirus, but the answers made clear that nobody knows how this will all play out in the end.

In this article from Smart Cities Dive, the challenges and opportunities for the future of public transport during and after COVID-19 are explored. You can read it in full here.