Transit Keeps Virginia Moving!

Public transit is vital to our communities, a safe and reliable service that millions of Virginians count on to get to work and to run essential errands. This month, the Department of Rail and Public Transportation (DRPT) seeks to highlight all of the steps that transit agencies across Virginia are taking to keep you safe during the COVID-19 pandemic. Just as important, we’re thanking transit agencies and workers for keeping our state moving in difficult times.

Each week on our Facebook page, we’ll shine a light on a different part of public transportation, including:

  • Your transit team
  • Transit safety
  • Your transit agency
  • Transportation for essential workers

Transit Safety

In response to COVID-19, transit agencies across Virginia have made changes to keep customers and employees safe. These changes include increased cleaning and disinfecting of vehicles; suspension of some routes and stops; temporary closure of some stations; free fares; and changes in the way that passengers board buses.

A study conducted by the American Public Transportation Association found the following:

  • There is no direct correlation between the use of urban public transit and transmission of COVID-19 — including in an analysis of multiple cities over the past three months that showed no correlation between the use of public transit and a rise or fall in local COVID-19 cases.
  • There is potential for long-term health consequences and environmental impact if large numbers of people switch from public transit to private cars.
  • Mask-wearing is effective at reducing person-to-person transmission.

There are several possible explanations for the lack of correlation between public transit ridership and COVID-19 cases. Mainly, it appears that what you do once you reach your destination affects the probability of contracting the virus far more than the mode of travel.

For more information on staying safe while commuting, download DRPT’s Commuting Safely and Confidently: Tips for Businesses and Commuters in the COVID-19 Environment.

To learn about changes to the transit service in your area, visit DRPT’s Service Locator.