COVID-19 and your commute
Transit agencies are reducing service due to a sharp decline in ridership during COVID-19, as well as turning to fare free systems, no fare enforcement, and back-door boarding to increase social distancing on transit. Check out the Washington State Transit Association‘s COVID-19 transit resources to find out how your local transit agency is responding to the virus. $700 million of federal emergency funding and 90,000 masks will be distributed to Washington State transit agencies.
Here’s how transit agencies in the Puget Sound region, community-based shuttle services, and state ferries are responding to COVID-19. If your are looking for another agency, check out their website or WSTA.
Transit is essential. Congress includes $25 billion emergency funding for transit in federal package. TCC joined Transportation for America and other national partners to advocate for critical emergency funding for transit.
Transit remains a lifeline as coronavirus spreads. Public transportation remains a lifeline for those who need it, connecting our community to food, medicine, and essential jobs.
Opinion: Coronavirus could mean catastrophe for public transit.The federal stimulus will help, but we’ll need more creative and long-term funding approaches to save transit.
Advocates urge Seattle to open streets to pedestrians and cyclists during COVID-19. “It’s like dropping a new park into the neighborhood, and this one has a path wide enough to maintain at least six feet at all times.”
Columbia County Transit is delivering groceries to community members. With ridership down, Columbia Transit is using part of its fleet for free pickup and delivery of groceries.
King County Council puts hold on transit measure amid coronavirus worries. The Council will focus on supporting the current transit system during COVID-19. This isn’t a closed door for a future regional ballot measure.
Metro Transit workers anxious about new role as ‘first responders’ to coronavirus pandemic. The people who drive buses are grappling with a duty they never imagined, as “first responders” to a coronavirus pandemic.
Sound Transit approves a very low-income fare pilot program, puts fare enforcement updates on hold. The fare program is anticipated to launch in July. Together, TCC and over 40 organizations advocated to take fare enforcement out of the court system. The board didn’t vote on fare enforcement policy updates due to virtual voting restrictions.
West Seattle bridge closes due to accelerated concrete cracking. SDOT identifies alternate routes to use during this closure.
Dispatch from Olympia: ‘Block the Box’ bill passed and transit funding is preserved. Here’s a wrap-up of the transportation legislative priorities we worked on this year.
Join us for our virtual Transit Talk
Please join us for a special edition virtual Transit Talk. We are gathering our community to share space and discuss how the coronavirus is impacting transit and our day-to-day lives. There will be opportunities to ask questions of experts in the field and time to share your own experiences.
Survey: Are you still riding transit?
Are you still riding transit during COVID-19? TCC is partnering with Seattle Transit Rider’s Union to understand how we can best advocate for and support riders.
Listen: High Frequency podcast with Alex Hudson. Alex joins TransitCenter to discuss campaigning for transit. “A lot of the way we talk about transit is car-oriented, and that somehow transit is about traffic, when transit is about itself.”
Watch: How can COVID-19 transform the transit conversation? Jarrett Walker discusses the changes transit agencies can make in response to declining ridership and concerns for the future in this virtual brown bag session.
TCC on Seattle Transit Blog podcast: Now more than ever. TCC Executive Director Alex Hudson discusses transit’s COVID-19 response, legislative updates, fare enforcement, and more.
Webinar: Smart growth recommendations for recovery. Recovery funds must go to investments that build lasting economic prosperity and ultimately help all Americans have the opportunity to live in a place that is healthy, prosperous, and resilient.
Webinar: Public transit in the time of COVID-19. In this “ask me anything” webinar, join a discussion about how transit agencies are tackling COVID-19.
Watch: The Congestion Con – How more lanes and more money equal more traffic. The Congestion Con exposes the real cost of expanding highways and challenges the notion that eliminating congestion is even the right goal for our transportation system.
NACTO COVID-19 transportation response center. NACTO will continually update this page with rapid response tools for cities, webinars, and more.
Eno Center for Transportation COVID-19 news and resources. A central location for news coverage on the COVID-19 pandemic and a collection of helpful resources for transportation professionals.
Apply: Cascade Bicycle Club’s virtual advocacy leadership institute. Do you care about bicycling and want to be a more effective organizer in your community?
What we’re reading
They can’t afford to quarantine. So they brave the subway. The subway is amplifying the divide between those with the means to safely shelter at home and those who continue using public transit to preserve their livelihoods.
Alone together, in community resilience. The way people band together in response to disasters is a key factor in a community’s ability to recover. Community efforts across the world are use social distancing as an asset, not an obstacle.
High-speed hospitals. France is using high-speed rail to move patients across the country to reduce local pressure on healthcare systems.
US car traffic is plummeting. Data on how many cars have vanished off the roads in the wake of COVID-19 — and what we’re learning suggests that we need even more drastic action to stop the spread and keep vulnerable road users safe.
Building a better stimulus package for transportation. Our friends at Transportation for America lay out ideas for a recovery package that will boost our economy and give Americans equitable, accessible, safe and low carbon transportation options into the future.
When the world stops moving. As the coronavirus pandemic tightens its grip around the world, city streets have transformed overnight. Jarringly quiet highways and empty rail cars are signs of Covid-19’s profound economic and public health impacts. Perhaps leaders can also learn from them.
What are the financial impacts to US transit? Transit agencies across the country are under immense financial pressure. TransitCenter estimates that “transit agencies could see an annual shortfall of $26-$38 billion” depending on the extent of the crisis.
In a week, the coronavirus razed US transit and rail systems. As the coronavirus pandemic swept the country, transit systems nationwide have felt huge hits. Transit needs our help. It is crucial for us to provide and maintain essential services for our riders during this public health emergency and beyond.
8 million US essential workers ride transit to their jobs. Workers classified as essential during the COVID-19 emergency account for 36 percent of total transit commuters in the United States. Service must be maintained to allow for safe spacing on buses and trains.
Bogotá expands bike lanes to curb coronavirus spread. The quick action is an example of cities re-organizing public spaces to tackle the pandemic.
Our role as planners during a pandemic. Pueblo planning discusses participatory planning and equitable engagement during a public health emergency.
Mission in motion
Letter from our director: When the world stops moving, we are still here for you
Many of us are mourning the sudden changes to our routines, our cities, and yes, our commutes.
As mobility advocates, social isolation and restricted travel runs counter to our core, and it is difficult to watch our transit agencies struggling. While those who can are stepping up and staying home, many still rely on transit to get to their essential jobs, and transit workers are on the frontlines of keeping society functional. TCC sends everyone in the transportation family solidarity in these troubling times, and looks forward to the day we can return to being all aboard, together.
Our work is changing every day and we are staying flexible. As the team pivots to respond to the COVID-19 outbreak, the health and safety of our communities are our top priorities. Right now, TCC is focusing on getting riders to essential jobs and services, supporting our transit agencies, and protecting transit workers.
TCC is building a table of advocates to keep transit running and ensure transit is prioritized in our state’s recovery plan. If you would like to join our advocacy calls and slack channel, please email our Policy Director at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Intentionalist is a great resource for supporting small businesses in your community. They highlight businesses owned by women, people of color, veterans, LGBTQ, families, and people with disabilities – and right now they are featuring places that deliver! Look through their directory to find places near you and nourish your body and soul during these tough times.
Meme in motion
Thank you to everyone who supported TCC in the last month! You keep us moving now and always: Alex W., Andrew A., Andrew B., Ann M., Anne W-R., Brynn and Joe B., Carl O., Charla S., Christina D., Conrad W., Derek R., Ethan M., Jasmine B., John R., Josh F., Justin W., Karen U., Kate G., Kevin M., Kristina W., Mark S., Matthew L., Michael F., Michael H. and Ann C., Nancy G., Nancy P. and David M., Nicholas M., Rebecca S., Rob B., Sam and Jess Z., Suzanne H., Tammy K., Teri M., Thomas and Fangliang C., and Toby C.
If we missed anyone our apologies and thank you for your support. Want a little extra TCC love? Support Transportation Choices Coalition and become a donor today!
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