In March 2020, transit agencies across the DC region drastically cut service in response to the coronavirus pandemic. Over ensuing months, transit service has been gradually restored to provide transportation for essential workers, many in the service economy and lifeline service workers, much of whom are transit-dependent travelers and/or are from traditionally disadvantaged populations, including minority, low-income, special needs, and/or limited English proficiency groups.

Foursquare ITP led an assessment of current bus service across all MWCOG jurisdictions and 13 providers. The analysis evaluated services by day of week, time of day, span, and frequency of service at the stop level. Service was assessed in comparison to COG’s Equity Emphasis Areas (EEAs), transit-dependent populations, traditionally disadvantaged populations, and in comparison to the travel needs of essential workers for the region as a whole and all bus operators.

The analysis focused on assessing COVID-19 era transit service against the need for transit service by these groups and included quantifying access to jobs within 45-minutes for all populations. The resulting report, completed in June 2021, served as an important reference in the recovery of the public transportation system for the region from the pandemic.