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1.
Transportation Research Part A: Policy & Practice ; 159:84-95, 2022.
Article in English | Academic Search Complete | ID: covidwho-1829590

ABSTRACT

Paratransit services developed under the Americans with Disabilities Act are a critical transportation means for persons with disabilities to meet their basic needs, but the COVID-19 pandemic posed an unprecedented challenge to service providers. To safeguard transportation equity, this study used complete records of service trips and riders obtained from the Access Transportation Program in the Seattle region for an empirical analysis aimed at answering two research questions. First, how did the ridership and trip purposes of paratransit change after the outbreak of COVID-19? Second, what factors explained the users' changing levels of service usage in response to the pandemic? Statistical methods, including a Hurdle model, were employed as the analytical tools. The results show that paratransit ridership dramatically decreased during 2020 with the most substantial reductions of working and non-essential personal trips, and that most of the remaining trips were for medical purposes. The results also indicate that riders' service usage during the pandemic was associated with their sociodemographic characteristics, disability conditions, and pre-pandemic travel demand. When controlling for other factors, riders who lived in neighborhoods with lower income and lower access to personal vehicles were more dependent on the service. Based on the empirical findings, we recommend that when developing plans for future disruptive events, public transit agencies should promptly implement safety measures, identify and prioritize neighborhoods that are most in need of mobility services, and actively pursue collaboration with other organizations for innovative service delivery options. [ FROM AUTHOR] Copyright of Transportation Research Part A: Policy & Practice is the property of Pergamon Press - An Imprint of Elsevier Science and its content may not be copied or emailed to multiple sites or posted to a listserv without the copyright holder's express written permission. However, users may print, download, or email articles for individual use. This may be abridged. No warranty is given about the accuracy of the copy. Users should refer to the original published version of the material for the full . (Copyright applies to all s.)

2.
Int J Environ Res Public Health ; 18(22)2021 11 11.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1512344

ABSTRACT

Active transportation (AT) is widely viewed as an important target for increasing participation in aerobic physical activity and improving health, while simultaneously addressing pollution and climate change through reductions in motor vehicular emissions. In recent years, progress in increasing AT has stalled in some countries and, furthermore, the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has created new AT opportunities while also exposing the barriers and health inequities related to AT for some populations. This paper describes the results of the December 2019 Conference on Health and Active Transportation (CHAT) which brought together leaders from the transportation and health disciplines. Attendees charted a course for the future around three themes: Reflecting on Innovative Practices, Building Strategic Institutional Relationships, and Identifying Research Needs and Opportunities. This paper focuses on conclusions of the Research Needs and Opportunities theme. We present a conceptual model derived from the conference sessions that considers how economic and systems analysis, evaluation of emerging technologies and policies, efforts to address inclusivity, disparities and equity along with renewed attention to messaging and communication could contribute to overcoming barriers to development and use of AT infrastructure. Specific research gaps concerning these themes are presented. We further discuss the relevance of these themes considering the pandemic. Renewed efforts at research, dissemination and implementation are needed to achieve the potential health and environmental benefits of AT and to preserve positive changes associated with the pandemic while mitigating negative ones.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Exercise , Humans , SARS-CoV-2 , Transportation
3.
J Transp Health ; 22: 101115, 2021 Sep.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1316565

ABSTRACT

INTRODUCTION: Along with all public transit services, paratransit services for people with disabilities experienced substantially reduced demand and an increased need to provide equitable services while protecting their clients and staff's safety during the COVID-19 pandemic. Paratransit services provide a lifeline for their clients' essential mobility needs, including access to medical appointments and grocery stores. In the absence of pre-existing pandemic response plans, examining transit agencies' responses to provide paratransit services during the pandemic can help inform planning for post-pandemic recovery and future disruptive events. METHODS: In September 2020, we conducted semi-structured interviews with 15 decision-makers, planners, and drivers working for the primary transit agency in the Seattle region - King County Metro - and its paratransit contractors. Interview questions were designed to identify current services, policy gaps, and critical challenges for recovery planning and post-pandemic paratransit services. Interview transcripts were analyzed using NVivo software to obtain essential themes. RESULTS: The interviewees provided insights about (1) paratransit service changes in response to the pandemic, (2) anticipated impacts of a returning demand on paratransit service efficiency, equity, and quality during the recovery period, and (3) innovative approaches for maintaining post-pandemic equitable paratransit services while balancing safety measures with available resources. CONCLUSIONS: Study findings suggest that paratransit service providers should consider (1) developing guidelines for future disruptive events, (2) examining alternative methods for food delivery to clients, (3) planning scenarios for delivering equitable services in the post-pandemic recovery period, and (4) increasing resilience possibly by establishing partnerships with transportation network companies.

4.
Journal of Transport & Health ; 21:101021, 2021.
Article in English | ScienceDirect | ID: covidwho-1126956

ABSTRACT

Background Transportation policies and projects have multiple impacts on health. Research on these impacts can help promote positive and reduce adverse health consequences of decisions made by transportation agencies. Methods In 2019 the U.S. National Cooperative Highway Research Program published a research roadmap for transportation and public health based on an extensive literature search and key informant interviews. The roadmap identified 44 research gaps and 122 research needs on a wide range of relevant topics. From this list, using pre-established criteria including specificity, equity, potential impact, and long-term usefulness, we selected 20 topics suitable for further research especially in academic settings. Results We present the questions, context, and possible research approach for each of the 20 topics. These topics cover issues ranging from integrating equity into performance measures and developing forecasting models for active travel to incorporating health questions into routine household travel surveys and examining health impacts of autonomous vehicles. We added questions on the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on transportation. Discussion This list will be useful to faculty, researchers, and students as they consider topics for research in transportation and public health. Results of research on these topics could influence transportation decisions in policy making, planning and community participation, capital programming, project design, and implementation. Future leaders of transportation agencies, transportation providers, and advocacy organizations may be more likely to consider transportation policies that incorporate a health perspective if their training includes research findings that increase their awareness of the health impacts of these policies.

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