Great article from CityLab on ways to measure transit’s success in the post-COVID era, calling for a look into ensuring equitable access to service rather than just counting riders. This article reiterates what we have been thinking for months, which is that it will not be the “bells and whistles” that bring riders back to transit, but rather, a return to the fundamentals of good service delivery. Access to a bus stop is important, but access to a high-quality, frequent, and reliable transit network is even more important. The quality of the surrounding built environment matters for access too, ensuring riders have safe, protected walking paths and waiting environments. We have been reminded this past year of the critical role public transit plays in providing access to jobs, medical appointments, social services, and educational opportunities. As transit agencies look to restore service as the nation emerges from the depths of the pandemic, there is great opportunity to revisit the service being delivered to ensure it aligns with community mobility needs and provides high-quality access to opportunities.
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