Foursquare ITP developed the COVID-19 Recovery Handbook, which provides guidance for agencies in making short-term decisions related to pandemic safety protocols, service levels, and equity, as well as long-term preparedness for future emergencies. Virginia’s transit providers were seeking guidance from DRPT on how to navigate the variety of questions and challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic. The team, led by Foursquare ITP, brought together experts from transit operations, public health, and marketing and communications to bring together multidisciplinary research to answer these questions.
Foursquare ITP developed the Handbook to help transit agencies adapt to changing circumstances by implementing and updating practices and protocols based on the best available information and data available to them. The COVID-19 Recovery Handbook provides recommendations—based on scientific findings and best practices research as well as interviews with agency practitioners—to transit providers on a variety of public health and service topics. These topics include understanding how to know what safety measures to implement (and when to suspend them); addressing challenges associated with operator recruitment and retention, as well as equitable workforce development; adjusting service levels and considering new service delivery options based on changing demand patterns; better understanding the needs of and communicate with riders; further developing a variety of partnerships; and perhaps most critically, becoming more prepared for future disruptions such as another pandemic or natural disaster.
We developed case studies, checklists, and an annotated guide to regularly updated resources that transit agencies can consult in addressing the variety of challenges created by a pandemic or other emergency situation. The final handbook, available to anyone, was presented in a webinar in November 2021.