Coronavirus/COVID-19 News and Resources

We know there is a lot of information out there about the current pandemic impacting our world a the moment. Here are some resources to help you find accurate and up-to-date information on how Coronavirus/COVID-19 is affecting Washington State transit service, agencies, riders, and operators.

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Transit as an essential service

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.

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.

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.

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.

Transit funding

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.

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.

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.

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.

Changes to traffic behavior

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.

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.

Local impacts

New round of service cuts announced for Sound Transit and Pierce Transit (Seattle Transit Blog, April 2020)

Transit agencies respond to COVID-19 novel coronavirus (Seattle Transit Blog, March 2020)




National Resources

American Public Transportation Association: Public Transit Response to Coronavirus or COVID-19. APTA continues to monitor the impact of the COVID-19 coronavirus, and the association is providing information resources to public transportation organizations in North America.

Transportation for America: COVID-19 Blog Posts. National transportation advocacy organization monitoring federal transportation funding and other transit-related COVID-19 issues.

National Association of City Transportation Officials 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.

TransitCenter Blog. A national foundation providing resources and data on COVID-19’s impacts on US public transit systems.

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