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In July 2020, the California Transit Association released “Transit is Essential: Recommendations for the Future of Transit,” a new report that details a series of best practices and policy recommendations intended to improve the safety, efficiency, and viability of transit operations during the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond.

The report, which was approved by the Association’s Executive Committee, represents the culmination of two months of research, industry outreach and discussion overseen by the Association’s COVID-19 Transit Crisis Relief Task Force.

Task Force members include:

  • Alameda-Contra Costa Transit District
  • Central Contra Costa Transit Authority
  • Golden Empire Transit District (Chaired by Karen King, CEO; and Vice Chair, California Transit Association)
  • Long Beach Transit
  • Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority
  • Monterey-Salinas Transit
  • Orange County Transportation Authority
  • San Diego Metropolitan Transit System
  • San Francisco Bay Area Rapid Transit District
  • San Mateo County Transit District
  • Santa Maria Area Transit
  • Victor Valley Transit Authority

Beyond their intended use by California’s transit agencies, the recommendations in the report were formally submitted to the American Public Transportation Association’s Mobility Recovery & Restoration Task Force as well to the California State Legislature and the United States Congress.


Following the formation of the American Public Transportation Association’s Mobility Recovery & Restoration Task Force and the Metropolitan Transportation Commission’s Blue-Ribbon Recovery Task Force, the Association’s Executive Committee directed the COVID-19 Transit Crisis Relief Task Force to develop a series of recommendations to influence these national and regional efforts and to support the recovery of transit in California.

The recommendations in Transit is Essential were developed and finalized by the Association’s COVID-19 Transit Crisis Relief Task Force in spring-summer 2020 based on survey data collected from members of the following Association standing committees and other groups:

  • Operations Committee
  • New Mobility Task Force
  • State Legislative Committee
  • Federal Legislative Committee
  • Business Member Advisory Group

The survey data reflects responses, from 40 survey participants, to various proposed measures impacting transit operations, technology and land-use. Association staff identified the proposed measures, as informed by research published by policy think tanks, transportation consultancies, news articles and industry guidance documents.

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