Pandemic Urbanism

May 14, 2020

How Public Transportation Can Combat Inequality to Provide for Healthier Future

By Alexandra King (
Senior Program Associate, Health Care and Transportation, Community Transportation Association of America

The author will give this presentation at the Pandemic Urbanism Symposium in a session titled “Post-Pandemic Mobilities,” from 2:00 – 3:00 PM on May 29, 2020.

Even before the present crisis, public transportation was a critical component of community and individual health and well-being. However, within that role, access to transportation, like other social determinants of health, proved to be a driver of inequality. As we continue to understand the inequitable distribution of the pandemic’s impact, we need to be looking at the questions of what and who is public transportation for. What role does public transportation play in creating or addressing those inequities? Public transit is full of crisis-led innovations that can provide insights into this topic. As transit systems across the country look to rebuild or restart service, how can we take the insights and lessons learned to equitably connect transit and health, while also improving both mobility and well-being in the years ahead?