APTA establishes COVID-19 recovery task force; publishes guide aimed at the safety of employees and riders

April 16, 2020
The new guide is designed to provide immediate guidance to transit agencies while the recovery task force will focus on efforts the industry can take as it works to restore enhanced mobility options to U.S. riders.

The American Public Transportation Association (APTA) released a new guide and announced the launch of a new task force as it works to help its member navigate through the COVID-19 crisis.  

The new guide, The COVID-19 Pandemic Public Transportation Responds: Safeguarding Riders and Employees, was developed with WSP USA, Inc., and the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health (JHU) to provide senior public transit operations leaders with strategies and tactical solutions that can help protect riders and agency employees from COVID-19, as well as help with future pandemic preparedness.

“This guide is more than a resource tool of best practices and policies; it represents who we are as public transportation leaders, not just what we do. Keeping our riders and employees safe has always been a core value for every APTA member,” the association writes in the foreword of the guide. “We remain resolute and optimistic, as an industry and an association, about public transportation’s indispensable role in a new, more mobile and safer future.”

To help see that future come to fruition, the association launched APTA's Mobility Recovery & Restoration Task Force. The task force will work to develop a path forward for public transportation's core functions and financial stability; and explore new methods, tools and approaches to reposition the industry's essential role in a post-pandemic mobility world.

“The end product will be a set of recommendations that cover a wide range of issues critical to public transit's success, including public and rider confidence, safe-guarding our employees and riders, customer-focused operations, quick-strike rail and bus scheduling as well as resiliency, equity and societal needs,” APTA Chair Nuria Fernandez wrote in a letter to members.

Phillip A. Washington, CEO of the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority, will lead this task force with Joanna M. Pinkerton, president and CEO of the Central Ohio Transit Authority and Paul Wiedefeld, general manager and CEO of Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority, serving as co-chairs.

“There is no more important or urgent undertaking for our association at this time in history. All of APTA's strategic goals underpin this immediate work to lead and support our industry,” said Fernandez.

The task force will begin work on May 1 and conclude September 1.

About the Author

Mischa Wanek-Libman | Editor in Chief

Mischa Wanek-Libman serves as editor in chief of Mass Transit magazine. She is responsible for developing and maintaining the magazine’s editorial direction and is based in the western suburbs of Chicago.

Wanek-Libman has spent more than 20 years covering transportation issues including construction projects and engineering challenges for various commuter railroads and transit agencies. She has been recognized for editorial excellence through her individual work, as well as for collaborative content. 

She is an active member of the American Public Transportation Association's Marketing and Communications Committee and serves as a Board Observer on the National Railroad Construction and Maintenance Association (NRC) Board of Directors.  

She is a graduate of Drake University, where she earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Journalism and Mass Communication with a major in magazine journalism and a minor in business management.