Transportation in the Coronavirus Era

Transportation in the Coronavirus Era - webinar notes

23 April 2020

Intro: How are other cities responding to and planning for transportation in the Coronavirus Era?

  • What might happen to mode share after the lockdown has ended?

  • What do we need to be thinking about at this time to plan and respond accordingly?

Come and hear our three panelists share their current thinking on the transportation challenges that we are facing and how they’re responding and planning ahead. We will also discuss biking's unique role in the Coronavirus Era and how we can support more people to take up riding at this time.

Our aim is to provide useful and insightful panel discussion for transportation professionals.

Webinar raw notes from Patrick  Morgan -

Seleta Reynolds, GM LA DoT
LA speeds are up 20-30 percent

In China traffic volumes 80 percent of pre pandemic
People are shifting from PT to driving

Will trap people in poverty if we don't help them

Bike ridership is down 13-15 percent
We could

need to be centred on lived experience of

purchase and distribute e-bikes, free access to EVs

Universal mobility
Remove barriers to employment, to help people out of poverty
Temp bike lanes in LA?

Three areas of work:
1. Harm reduction – relaxed parking enforcement, waived fees for taxis
Physically distance staff
Back door boarding, free PT
New miniature transit
Moving unsheltered people to shelters
Take people to hospitals

Medical transport, to free up hospitals
Large scale delivery services for older adults
Comnpanies don't want to give contractors PPE, would make them employers
Treating bike share as essentail transport services – frequent cleaning etc

Cone sat food drops, mobile testing centres
Tactical urbanism resources are used at testing centres etc

2. Expedite projects that have community buy in – push back is maximum in the first month after construction
Bottleneck is the quality of pavement / street surface. Can't build bike lane until street is repaved (neglected, deferred maintenance)

Tactical urbanism

Low income neighbourhoods – city to impose projects without giving residents dignity, double down on mistakes
Black Lives Matter list of 55 things – including transport. Slow streets are not on that list.

Prioritise social justice, need to be fed, don't want to die.

Slow streets doesn't centre the needs of those communities.
Play streets can work where there's community led support

    3. Speculative projects, temporary, bus lanes, protected bike lanes

    Seed funding transport management organisations TMOs
    Commute services are returning
    e.g 1984 LA Olympics, transport worked because people WFH, shifted working hours
    Expedite that

    Way we measure env impact of projects

    Used to add car parking to mitigate
    Universe wanted to press pause
    Use this as an opportunity to reflect on your pre-pandemic agenda
    Get more people biking on those short trips
    Remove barriers
    Disabilities, older people, women (faer of assault on PT), people policed out of public spaces – calling DoT to get access to testing
    Universal basic mobility

    Take a broader view on who we serve and how.
    Lots of companies are making money e.g.
    remote delivery, contactless delivery
    We tax those companies indirectly by writing parking tickets
    Delivery shifted to nighttime hours in LA Olympics
    What are essential service

    balance for-profit use of public infra – capture value from private compainues e.g dleivery companies

    Level the playing field and build a more equitable funding model
    Can smell the ocean, 11 mi away. Never happened before
    Cognitive dissonance

    When we step outside, there's beauty waiting for us, but also tremendous pain and frustration
    Appreciate the moment and use it to go forward


Tim Papandreou, Emerging Transport Advisors

How can we get people using PT again?

Some businesses will disappear.

Use cases make sense

Not the same for everyone, everywhere

Something for everyone

Elephant in the room – hidden subsidies
Reasons you cant bike – congestion, need to confront these

Close the gaps

Slow shared streets

Cross subsidise, shared mobility companies to make services available
Do they want shared space mobility (PT)
Need benefits of sole driving, but smaller form factor
Getting cities and companies to work together, cooperate

Need contactless systems
Get ride of beg buttons
Need the most convenient, least emissions – maybe a bike, scooter or cargo bike

Struggle to get projects through
Some barriers are lifted, window of opportunity
If you don't have political support before, you won't have it now
Advocacy groups have stepped in to reclaim space
This is a time for tactical urbanism: see, test, do
Reach out to groups that traditionally haven't used bikes

virtual training, bike training

Try new things

100 cities are simplementing something – emergency lanes, slow lanes, tactical gap closing

Paris, Milan are going big. Oakland, 75 miles of lanes

This is the moment to roll out bike lanes

Try things out

Get partnerships in place now, mobility companies etc
Use this time to break down barriers
Shift from a no culture, to a yes and culture
Figure out different ways to fund transport (not fuel tax)
Taxes are for things we don't want, subsidies are for things you ewant to encourage

but in transport we have it backwards

Need a reset – if you are taking up this ake space, at this time, noise, emissions, you pay this much

Make the playing field level
Get paid if you walk or bike in peak time
Risk is we further exacerbate inequity
What cities can do in allocating right of way / street space, how cities fund and charge – opportunities for change
Now we subsidise driving by providing too much street space
Take a moment
Humanness – cats, kids appearing on Zoom calls

Let's savour this, give gratitude
Tap back into our humanness


Karina Ricks, Pittsburgh
Who do we need to focus on for our vision?
Small businesses and employers

Slow streets – slow rolls, maybe one-way, bring along local shops and buisnesses. Thye employ most, have the multiplier effect
Market economy, shop local
Address inequity
WFH less viable for lower paid jobs
Free bike share – had best March ever
Shared mobility builds community

How can we use these devices to ove more than single riders

Transport children, packages = cargo bikes
Consider removing petrol tax as the basis for funding transport
Subsidise diversity

Pittsburgh Mobility Collective, integrated mobiality, can you take shared micromobility to transit without paying a transfer penalty, Single system. Need more accountability and transparency for shared mobility

Partnerships with providers
re-imagine how we do transport

Universal Basic Mobility

Pandemic aside, Look at how fabulous our cities are – cleaner air, humane streets, sense of peace
If we can figure out sustainable transport we can have healthy streets, human-centred
Take a moment to pause and etch it in our memories
Public memory is short . Find ways to memorialise this