MTI's Distinguished Seminar Series: Dan Goldfarb, COVID's Telework Impact on Transit Ridership
Join us on May 19 for an online seminar with Dan Goldfarb from the Northern Virginia Transportation Commission.
In March of 2020 the impacts of COVID-19 forced a historic shifted in the commuting patterns for Northern Virginia residents. With stay at home orders resulting in an unprecedented numbers of workers teleworking and a corresponding reduction in person miles traveled. The high amount of employees teleworking resulted in a dramatic drop in transit ridership.
The Northern Virginia Transit Commission decided to undertake a travel demand modeling exercise to explore possible impacts on future transit given different telework scenarios. The purpose of this exercise was to provide some clarity to our Commissioners and jurisdictional partners on how different levels of telework could impact transit in the Northern Virginia. The goal was to provide insight for future transit planning and guidance on future short-term transit use.
The analysis showed the importance of bus in Northern Virginia. Rail modes in Northern Virginia, that have higher fares and tend to serve longer distance commuter trips are impacted the greatest by teleworking. Lower income groups, who tend to have jobs that are less flexible and are unable to telework depend on bus. As transit planning and operation continue to evolve to changing conditions, a key observation from the sensitivity exercise is the importance of providing transportation options to front line works.