The Future of Transit


  • Identify key trends shaping transit and its role in communities in the COVID era.
  • Examine innovative approaches, plans, and policies that can help transit adapt to today’s environment and new needs.
  • Explore how transit should be handled in reauthorization legislation and how it can better support regional housing, equity, and land use goals.


Public transportation faces a crisis unlike any in its history. The COVID-19 pandemic has put enormous fiscal pressures on agencies with declining revenues, exploding costs, and the need to continue safely moving essential workers. The immediate challenges are accelerating larger trends affecting transit, such as new mobility technologies, automation, social equity needs, and housing connections.

How will transit respond? What should be the response of policymakers? How should relief, stimulus, and infrastructure legislation treat transit? How can planners collaborate with transit agencies to adapt to new realities? Transit leaders and experts will detail the challenges, discuss the opportunities for innovation, and describe the potential for planning and transit to work together for recovery and reinvention of communities.