This handbook is a component of DRPT’s COVID-19 Transit Recovery Toolkit, whose development was funded by the Federal Transit Administration’s COVID-19 Research Demonstration Grant Program to support strategies that address the operational challenges agencies faced during the pandemic. The program focuses on vehicles, facilities, equipment, and infrastructure for cleaning and disinfection; exposure mitigation measures; innovative mobility and technologies such as contactless payments; and measures that strengthen public confidence in transit services.
This handbook contains information that comes from a combination of research and literature review, as well as in-depth conversations with transit industry staff from across Virginia. A Stakeholder Advisory Committee provided strategic direction for the project and valuable input at key points in the handbook development process. Much of this handbook’s contents reflect the issues and lessons learned that participants identified. In addition, a series of ten interviews with representatives from service providers across Virginia, conducted in May 2021, provided the project team with further insight regarding the practices and lessons learned from the pandemic.
The COVID-19 pandemic tested the transit industry in unexpected ways, decreasing ridership and exacerbating already existing problems, such as driver shortages. At the same time, the pandemic presented unique opportunities to initiate or accelerate technology deployments and enhance agencies’ focus on equitable operations.