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Federal Government to Offer $10M to Research COVID-19 Spread on Public Transportation

The federal government plans to administer $10 million into researching how COVID-19 spreads on public transportation to better understand how to mitigate the risk of outbreaks occurring this way. A recent presidential memo could, however, exclude major cities New York City, Washington DC, Seattle, and Portland from receiving funds. The Federal Transit Administration has been working towards addressing the challenges of re-opening public transportation to its full capacity throughout the summer.

Many transportation systems are funded with public money, and therefore the organizations that conduct public transportation have few resources to make necessary improvements such as increased air circulation. The FTA, in response, is allocating $10 million in research grants to seek solutions in improving the safety of passengers, many of whom rely on the public transportation system for work and other necessary travel. The funding will focus on vehicle cleaning and disinfection, exposure mitigation measures, innovative mobility such as contactless payments, and measures that strengthen public confidence in the transit services.

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