Taylor Imagines Post-Pandemic Future of Public Transit

Brian Taylor, professor of urban planning and public policy and director of UCLA’s Institute of Transportation Studies, was featured in a CityLab article about the post-pandemic future of public transit. Taylor explained that bus and rail ridership tends to be more sensitive to economic changes than other modes, and the financial effects of coronavirus are poised to stretch long into the future. Passengers will inevitably return in dense cities, such as New York City and San Francisco, where transit is critical for thriving urban economies to function, he said. However, he predicted that some would-be passengers are likely to continue to work remotely even after restrictions are lifted, and others may instead choose to drive or bike. U.S. ridership has been in decline since 2014, and Taylor’s research has found that the largest drops in ridership have come from groups that were traditionally the heaviest, most economically dependent users of transit, such as low-income immigrants.

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