During the Pandemic, More Seek Shelter in Public Transit Systems

A Transit California article put a spotlight on research from the UCLA Institute of Transportation Studies that showed a noticeable increase in people seeking shelter in public transportation stops, stations and vehicles during the COVID-19 pandemic. A team led by Distinguished Professor of Urban Planning Anastasia Loukaitou-Sideris surveyed 115 transit agencies to produce a report investigating the intersections of the pandemic, transit and homelessness. Over half of the agencies said that they see at least 100 unhoused individuals per day on their systems, while 14 agencies reported 500 or more. “Homelessness in transit environments is a major challenge in the U.S. and in Canada, but especially in California,” Loukaitou-Sideris said. She noted, however, that the absence of reliable data makes it difficult to measure the magnitude of the problem. Loukaitou-Sideris’ team will continue its research into policy solutions to help people experiencing homelessness.


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