MTI Distinguished Seminar Series: Dan Goldfarb

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The COVID-19 pandemic upended commuting patterns, with stay-at-home orders prompting unprecedented levels of telework. Ridership on public transit systems plummeted.

But a travel demand modeling exercise undertaken by the Northern Virginia Transit Commission (NVTC) found that telework impacts some travel modes more severely than others, said NVTC Transit Resource Center program manager Dan Goldfarb (PE, PTP) during a Maryland Transportation Institute (MTI) Distinguished Seminar on May 19.

In northern Virginia, rail modes that support longer-distance commuter trips—and charge relatively high fares—suffered the steepest drops due to telework. Buses, by contrast, continued to provide an essential service to lower-income and front-line workers, many of whom have jobs with less flexibility.  

The NVTC launched the modeling exercise in order to support future transit planning efforts with a more robust understanding of how different telework scenarios—and levels of telework—could affect ridership.

A nearly 30-year veteran of the transportation field, Goldfarb has experience in multimodal analysis and transportation modeling for planning applications, transportation demand management, as well as traffic operational analysis. He started his career at COMSIS Corporation in the early 1990s, worked overseas for Uribitran Associates out of their New York City office, and then returned to the Washington, DC area in early 2000s, working for BMI/VHB and then Cambridge Systematics.

He holds a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from the University of Florida, a Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering from the University of Maryland College Park, and a Master of Science in Civil Engineering from Virginia Tech. He is a licensed professional engineer in Virginia.

MTI’s Distinguished Seminar Series connects the UMD community with key players in the transportation arena, including researchers, policy experts, and representatives of state and local government. Previous seminars have featured Patricia Hu, director of the Department of Transportation’s Bureau of Transportation Statistics, Morteza Farajian, who heads the Build America bureau, and Michael Pack, director of the Center for Advanced Transportation Technology Laboratory (CATT Lab).

For more information about the series, contact Connie Tang, assistant director for research and outreach, at

Published May 24, 2021