Suggested Citation: Sanguinetti, Angela, Ashley DePew, Kate Hirschfelt (2023) Vehicle Design Strategies to Reduce the Risk of COVID-19 Transmission in Shared and Pooled Travel: Inventory, Typology, and Considerations for Research and Implementation. Transportation Research Record
The global COVID-19 pandemic has given rise to a plethora of ideas for modifying and redesigning public transportation and shared mobility vehicles to protect workers and riders from contracting the disease while traveling. This research seeks to inventory these strategies, and to organize and distill them in a way that enables researchers, policymakers, and public transport and mobility service operators to more systematically and efficiently evaluate them. Through literature search and analysis, the COVID-19 risk-mitigating vehicle design (CRVD) typology was developed, articulating 12 categories of strategies (e.g., Seating Configuration, Barriers) and 12 mechanisms (e.g., physical distancing, physical separation) by which the strategies may reduce COVID-19 spread. A secondary contribution of this research is to gather opinions of experts in fields related to COVID-19 and its transmission, about the identified CRVD strategies and mitigation mechanisms. The typology and expert opinions serve as a launching point for further innovation and research to evaluate the effectiveness of CRVD strategies and their relationship to user preferences and travel behavior, within and beyond the current context. Public transport and shared mobility service operators can use the CRVD typology as a reference, in conjunction with industry guidance and emerging research on strategy effectiveness, to aid decision-making in their continued response to the pandemic as well as for future planning.
Key words: transportation and public health, air quality and health impacts, public and population health, vulnerable populations, transportation systems resilience, planning and preparedness