Use Data as the Catalyst for Your Transit Agency’s COVID-19 Recovery

Jay PerryBlog

Across the country, we are seeing businesses open their doors, foot traffic filling up downtown sidewalks, and communities reuniting after far too many months apart. Recovery, better yet, healing, is happening for all of us.

The COVID-19 recovery for transit services has been top of mind for the mobility community. As transit advocates, we are grateful for the brainpower you are dedicating to piecing together the complex puzzle of earning back rider confidence, implementing health and safety protocols to protect riders and operators, and offering cost-effective and flexible services that meet the transportation needs of your communities. Likewise, your riders—the school teachers, the medical practitioners, the business owners—are wondering if new service innovations will result in a safer rider experience from first mile to last mile.

While every community will have a different answer on how to solve this puzzle, one variable ties them all together: the priceless value of accurate, real-time data.

We understand how vital this data is to your transit operations. It empowers you to make strategic and impactful decisions based on facts instead of assumptions. It allows you to quickly and efficiently pivot your services when the expected (or unexpected) happens.

Learn how to predict service outcomes using microtransit simulations.

The COVID-19 pandemic illustrated how suddenly ridership habits can shift. Now as local government officials and health experts lift restrictions and more vaccines get into the arms of your riders, demand for transportation services will steadily rise. Take for example Chicago’s Regional Transportation Authority who, in a recent survey of its lapsed riders, determined that 80% of these riders will return once the danger of COVID-19 subsides.

Whether it’s exploring potential microtransit zones to complement your fixed route service or realigning your services to create an equitable transportation system, our Planning & Design Services can partner with you to uncover data-driven and innovative solutions that keep your wheels rolling while protecting your riders and operators.

The combination of real-time data, transit agency expertise, and the analytical capabilities of our Planning & Design Services kept the shuttles moving at Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia. When student and administrator schedules were upended by the COVID-19 pandemic, Emory was able to isolate average ridership of its fixed route services down to the hour, which led to optimizing late night routes with low ridership by adding microtransit vehicles and expanding on-demand services. The result? Reduced wait times, controlled vehicle occupancy, and improved customer service (i.e., happy riders).

Real-time data is the key to transit’s COVID-19 recovery. Let’s work together to discover the best solutions to bring mobility back to your community.

Featured Resource - Microtransit Simulator White Paper