The National Association of City Transportation Officials (NACTO), which is made up of 83 US city transit agencies, has put together a coronavirus toolkit to collaborate on transport resilience and response plans.
The COVID-19 Transportation Response Centre is an online hub for city transportation staff, officials, and leaders to learn from one another and develop the most effective responses to the evolving global crisis.
This resource is being updated daily as the landscape changes, and in response to city feedback.
NACTO has been highlighting noteworthy examples from cities, and new resources from the Response Center through a weekly newsletter.
While these examples are from US cities, some of the responses will be relevant for any city in the world and some similar measures have been introduced in London, where only the middle doors are used by buses to help distance passengers from drivers.
Some of the latest highlights from NACTO across the US show:
- Instituting rear-door boarding and/or fare free transit
Many transit agencies suspended fares and/or required rear-door boarding to minimise interactions and help protect passengers and operators.
- Establishing and clearly marking passenger spacing requirements
Houston METRO restricted seating on board buses to every other row and installed clear signage in English and Spanish communicating this change to passengers.
- Extending the footpath in high-traffic areas
Brookline, Massachusetts is reconfiguring vehicle and parking lanes along highly-used streets in order to create more space for people to access essential services.
- Opening select streets for social distancing
74 miles of Oakland's streets—10% of all of the streets in the city—will be converted to local access only in order to relieve crowded footpaths and parks so people can both safely make essential trips and get some fresh air. These streets will reach across virtually every neighborhood in the city.
Denver closed select roads to through-traffic to create more space for residents to travel while social distancing, to both help residents make essential trips more safely, as well as expand outdooor recreational space. The city initially closed streets in areas with high population densities or busy public parks; the program is now expanding.
- Opening streets through and alongside parks
Minneapolis closed sections of riverfront parkways to motor vehicle traffic to allow more space for trail users, and will be expanding to additional parkway closures.
Vancouver restricted traffic on streets leading to and within Stanley Park, repurposing motor vehicles lanes to create larger spaces for people to safely go outside.
- Automating pedestrian crossing buttons
Cities across the world are converting pedestrian signals to automatic, eliminating the need for people to press a button in order to cross the street. This cuts down on a common public touch-point, reducing the risk of spreading the coronavirus.