Publication Detail

Impacts of COVID-19 on the Transport Sector, Policy Recommendations, and Future Research: A Report on the United States

UCD-ITS-RP-21-39

Reprint

3 Revolutions Future Mobility Program

Suggested Citation:
Johnson, Nicholas, Jai Malik, Giovanni Circella (2021) Impacts of COVID-19 on the Transport Sector, Policy Recommendations, and Future Research: A Report on the United States. Frontiers in High-Speed Rail Development, 73 - 110

The novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic has caused significant disruptions to nearly every aspect of society since its emergence in early 2020. On 31 January, the United States (US) Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) confirmed the first US COVID-19 case in Washington State. By 11 March, COVID-19 was widespread enough to be declared a pandemic. Due to a growing fear of COVID-19, the US public began to travel less and take precautionary measures. During those early stages of the pandemic, many countries and some US states issued stay-at-home orders and travel restrictions to contain the deadly virus. The lockdown policies enacted during that time and the fear of contagion among the public created major disruptions for the US economy and society. Falk et al. (2021) showed how unemployment levels in the US rose to the highest levels since 1948, at 14.8%, in April 2020. By December 2020, the situation had improved, as unemployment rates fell to a still-elevated level (for the US economy) of 6.7%. Especially during the early stages of the pandemic, businesses and schools began having their employees and students telecommute if possible, while nonessential stores either shut down or moved to curbside pickup. As of early April 2021, over 30 million people in the US had contracted COVID-19, with 555,638 recorded deaths. The hardest hit counties have been Los Angeles, Maricopa, Cook, Miami-Dade, and Harris (Johns Hopkins 2021).

Key words: COVID-19, transportation, policies, behavior, United States