For many of us, the last couple of weeks have been a whirlwind, as we work to grapple with how the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) is rapidly changing our communities, our workplaces, and our personal lives. As a country, we are rapidly trying to adapt – to handle the impacts of this virus on our economy, health, and businesses, while also attempting to swiftly stop the spread of disease. There are no simple answers behind this pandemic, and there will be no simple solutions. Given this, CTAA is actively monitoring developments related to the virus, the impact it may have on our members and their communities across the country, and talking with local, state, and federal stakeholders to develop and share solutions. Given the scale of this outbreak, becoming oversaturated with information can be easy. CTAA knows that our members and the communities you serve are facing unprecedented challenges and changes to your transit operations. Despite these new challenges – CTAA will continue to remain a resource and an advocate for each and every one of you.
In addition to write-ups highlighting systems responses to the COVID-19 pandemic on our CTR blog, we encourage you to bookmark our COVID-19 page, which will be frequently updated with resources, updates, and news vital to transit operators throughout this pandemic. This blog is the first of many to come, and we want to kick off our written materials by offering selected small but actionable items that transit providers can do to continue supporting their community, their riders, and themselves during this time.
First and foremost, the role of transportation providers is changing rapidly. With a ringing chorus of #flattenthecurve, social distancing and the shuttering of community events, workplaces, and gatherings is now the norm. As a society, our biggest weapon against the spread of this disease is limiting contact between our population to slow, reduce, and potentially eliminate the spread. Thankfully, many who are able to do so, have chosen to stay at home, and we are seeing our communities turn in, when possible, to reduce our interactions. However, this means we are seeing large reductions in transit trips, and a large increase in delivery needs, particularly for at-risk populations such as adults over the age of 60.
The most important thing transportation providers can do is plan and prepare for community transmission of the virus, and implement appropriate responses once that transmission occurs. While there is much to learn regarding COVID-19, CTAA believes the below baseline steps are critical to transportation’s response during this time:
As we all work collectively to make the necessary changes to address the spread of disease and continue our services as much as possible, CTAA will continue to support transportation providers across the country in your efforts. As the challenges and needs become clearer over the next few weeks in your community, please tell us how COVID-19 continues to impact your system through our survey, and reach out to our staff via email to discuss any questions, concerns, or updates on your system.
The Community Transportation Association of America (CTAA) and its members believe that mobility is a basic human right. From work and education to life-sustaining health care and human services programs to shopping and visiting with family and friends, mobility directly impacts quality of life.