Carnegie Mellon University

Public Transportation

Metro21 Faculty Paper Published on COVID-19 Impact on Public Transit

Metro21 faculty and CMU Professors Destenie Nock and Corey Harper, along with Ph.D. student Lily Hanig had their latest paper, "COVID-19 Public Transit Precautions: Trade-offs Between Risk Reduction and Costs" published.

The paper compares the risk and social costs across several modes of transportation.  Drs. Nock and Harper and Ph.D. student Lily Hanig developed a framework to estimate the spread of COVID-19 on transit using the bus system in Pittsburgh.  They found that some trips had demand that exceeded their COVID-19 passenger limit, where the driver must decide between (1) leaving a passenger without a ride or (2) allowing them on the bus and increasing COVID-19 risk.  

In this paper, they considered five alternatives for alleviating overcapacity: allow crowding, additional buses, longer buses, AVs, and transportation network company (TNC) rides.