COVID-19 and Transit Air Quality Protections (Insight Event)

According to the World Health Organization (WHO) definition, COVID-19 is an infectious disease caused by a novel coronavirus. The COVID-19 virus spreads primarily through droplets of saliva or discharge from the nose when an infected person coughs or sneezes. These droplets, which are small viral particles, can stay suspended in the air for long periods of time especially in closed spaces. COVID-19 has been known to have been transmitted during the course of transit occupancy, causing the illness and deaths of public transportation workers and, probably' the passengers as well. The risk has been demonstrated by contact tracing, which led to identification of multiple clusters of infection tracing back to bus trips on vehicles with recirculated air contaminated with SARS-CoV-2 (the virus that causes COVID-19). Due to the concerns over transmission of COVID-19, transit has suffered a decline in ridership. In order to increase ridership and get back to some type of normal, the industry needs to improve the air quality inside transit vehicles and reassure the public that traveling in transit vehicles is safe. Improving the quality of air inside transit vehicles, will also protect workers and riders against any airborne infections including the seasonal flu. The objective is to assist TCRP in conducting an Insight Event to understand how air quality inside transit vehicles might contribute to the spread of infections. The purpose of this convening event is to allow transit and stakeholders to share their knowledge about the issue of air quality inside vehicles, and help identify possible solutions to the problem and/or areas of research to be undertaken in a future TCRP project.


  • English


  • Status: Active
  • Funding: $120000
  • Contract Numbers:

    Project E-13

  • Sponsor Organizations:

    Transit Cooperative Research Program

    Transportation Research Board
    500 Fifth Street, NW
    Washington, DC    20001

    Federal Transit Administration

    1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE
    Washington, DC  United States  20590
  • Project Managers:

    Garcia-Colberg, Mariela

  • Performing Organizations:

    Versar, Incorporated

  • Principal Investigators:

    Diaz, Adria

  • Start Date: 20220621
  • Expected Completion Date: 20220622
  • Actual Completion Date: 0

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01769143
  • Record Type: Research project
  • Source Agency: Transportation Research Board
  • Contract Numbers: Project E-13
  • Files: TRB, RIP
  • Created Date: Apr 6 2021 10:17AM