Resources for mobility planning and operations in the pandemic

October 27, 2020 Josh Triantafilou

The COVID-19 pandemic has introduced or accelerated many challenges for the transit sector. A constellation of factors including the need for social distancing, remote working and the shifting landscape of brick and mortar retail has reduced the demand for transit throughout the course of the pandemic and strained financial resources. Still, transit is an essential service and the federal government has committed stimulus funding of nearly four billion dollars for the industry. This article reviews a few resources that might be of interest to transit professionals that need to plan and manage operations during the pandemic.

Visualizing the geography of transit and socioeconomic status

As the Ontario Professional Planners institute notes, COVID-19 has impacted those with lower economic status more severely due to several factors. Such persons often live in dense shared spaces, do not have the luxury of working remotely and rely heavily on public transit. The ability to understand how transit networks intersect with different populations within a city, can provide valuable insight for transit planners and decision-makers. While developed prior to the pandemic, the Transit in Toronto story map demonstrates how GIS can be used to identify the connections between transit availability and socioeconomic status. You can access the story here and view it below. 

Deloitte - The futures of mobility after COVID-19

This report from Deloitte explores potential scenarios for transit and transportation in a post-pandemic world. It examines multiple dimensions such as public vs. private sector leadership, market structure, the growing importance of data and trends towards integrated mobility systems that incorporate different modes of transportation.  Deloitte suggests that the latter—integrated mobility—is more likely to be effective in larger, denser cities than in sparser rural and suburban areas. On this note, we’d like to draw attention to the below ArcGIS-powered map by CUTA, which provides case studies on integrated mobility from around the world. Access the map below.

Integrated Mobility Toolbox Case Studies

Separating COVID-19 Fact from Fiction in Public Transit

This article from the CUTA’s Urban Mobility Forum magazine clarifies various views regarding transit that have emerged over the course of the past few months. Not least among these is dispelling the notion that transit is associated with higher rates of transmission. The article also discusses the importance of working with health authorities and addressing public concern with clear communication practices drawn from the principle of operational transparency. Web apps such as ArcGIS Hub and ArcGIS Dashboards in your ArcGIS Online organization can serve this purpose well.

We hope you find these resources useful as society and the transit industry adapt to these challenging times.

This post was translated to French and can be viewed here.

About the Author

Josh Triantafilou

Josh Triantafilou is a marketing specialist with Esri Canada. He makes it easy for people to find and evaluate products and services relevant to them. Josh is interested in the power of GIS to make sense of the world and affect meaningful, positive change within it.

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