The Effect of COVID-19 on Mobility and Equity: A Case Study on Transit Users in Baltimore, Maryland

Project Abstract

This research investigates the effect of the COVID-19 pandemic on public transit riders and operators in the Baltimore Metropolitan Area. We will send a survey questionnaire to transit riders and a survey to transit operators to investigate safety perceptions and adjustments made during the pandemic. Using GTFS schedule data and agency ridership data before and during the COVID-19 outbreak, we will investigate schedule adjustments made by the Maryland Transit Administration and compare Baltimore ridership reduction during the pandemic with some other cities, such as Washington, D.C. The research aims to identify the issues and challenges that need to be addressed for a new understanding of the role of transit during and post the COVID-19 pandemic.

Universities and Sponsoring Organizations Involved

Morgan State University, U.S. Department of Transportation Office of the Secretary/Research

Principal Investigators

Dr. Mansoureh Jeihani, mansoureh.jeihani@morgan.edu

Dr. Celeste Chavis, celeste.chavis@morgan.edu

Funding Sources and Amounts

USDOT: $100,000 (Federal), Morgan State University: $50,000 (Match)

Start Date

June 1, 2020

Expected Completion Date

August 30, 2021

Expected Research Outcomes

This research will help us understand the effect of the pandemic on vulnerable populations' mobility. The results will provide suggestions to modify transit systems to accommodate them.

Expected Equity Impacts and Benefits of Implementation

The goal of this study is to address mobility issues for low-income captive riders during the pandemic and post-pandemic.

Subject Areas

Mobility, equity