Slowing COVID-19 Spread – Simulating Bus Seating Strategies

Taking public transportation is a critical way of commuting for many individuals living in cities across the United States. Public transit is also an important mode for older adults, wheelchair users, and individuals to whom biking, walking, and driving may not be feasible, for example, one who has arthritis or other chronic pain that limits his/her level or type of activity. Because the World Health Organization (WHO) reports that coronavirus can last on surfaces for a few hours up to several days, like the other indoor spaces, a potential risk of exposing to COVID-19 exist when using public transit. Motivated by this, the research proposes to develop a python-based agent modeling tool that enables simulation of in-bus passenger seating behavior based on the “social distancing” awareness and supported with in-vehicle sanitizing practices. With application of the proposed simulation tool in the City of Albuquerque transit system, the research aims at identifying optimal and practically feasible seating strategies under multiple scenarios of transit capacities, seats configurations, passenger volume (occupancy), and bus schedules. The research is expected to help slow the spread of COVID-19 on public transit, gain travelers’ confidence on the safety of transit during the pandemic situation, and improve public health conditions, especially for transit riders with low-income, disability, and other potentially underserved communities that have higher risk for severe illness from COVID-19.


  • English


  • Status: Active
  • Funding: $100000
  • Contract Numbers:


  • Sponsor Organizations:

    Office of the Assistant Secretary for Research and Technology

    University Transportation Centers Program
    Department of Transportation
    Washington, DC  United States  20590
  • Managing Organizations:

    Transportation Consortium of South-Central States (Tran-SET)

    Louisiana State University
    Baton Rouge, LA  United States  70803
  • Project Managers:

    Mousa, Momen

  • Performing Organizations:

    University of New Mexico, Albuquerque

    Department of Civil Engineering
    Albuquerque, NM  United States  87131-0001
  • Principal Investigators:

    Liu, Haobing

  • Start Date: 20210801
  • Expected Completion Date: 20230801
  • Actual Completion Date: 0
  • USDOT Program: University Transportation Centers Program

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01833043
  • Record Type: Research project
  • Source Agency: Transportation Consortium of South-Central States (Tran-SET)
  • Contract Numbers: 69A3551747106
  • Files: UTC, RIP
  • Created Date: Jan 20 2022 2:44PM