September 30, 2020

APTA Study Finds No Correlation Between Transit Use & Spread of COVID-19 Virus


This report is based on a comprehensive review of United States and global research regarding COVID-19 transmission and public transit, interviews with public health experts, and new analysis of various data sources. This September 2020 APTA commissioned study by Sam Schwartz details the following findings:

1- No direct correlation has been found between use of urban public transit and transmission of COVID-19

2- There will be long-term health consequences if people in large numbers switch from public transit to private cars.

3- An analysis of public transit ridership in multiple cities over the past three months shows no correlation with the rise or fall of local COVID-19 cases

4- Mask wearing has been shown to be effective at reducing person-to-person transmission

5- There are several possible explanations for the lack of correlation between the increase in public transit ridership and increasing COVID-19 cases

6- It appears that what you do at the end of a trip affects the probability of contracting the virus far more than the mode of travel.

LINK TO REPORT: Public Transit and COVID-19 Pandemic: Global Research and Best Practices, Sept 2020

LINK TO Summary of the Report by Sam Schwartz