National Academies Press: OpenBook

Air Quality in Transit Buses (2023)

Chapter: Opening Remarks

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Suggested Citation:"Opening Remarks." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2023. Air Quality in Transit Buses. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/27033.
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Opening Remarks

Neil Pedersen, TRB

Neil Pedersen welcomed everyone to the TCRP Insight Event on “Air Quality in Transit Buses.” The purpose of this event was to address how air quality inside transit buses relates to the spread of infectious diseases, including COVID-19, seasonal flu, and other respiratory diseases. For those who are unfamiliar with TRB, TRB hosts the TRB Annual Meeting, the largest transportation research conference in the world. In addition, TRB hosts multiple conferences a year and includes four major cooperative research programs. Insight Events, which are now a part of two of the cooperative research programs, are held to bring together experts and practitioners on emerging or new issues. For these issues, there is not a lot of published research, and, therefore, there is little understanding about how to most effectively address the problem. The transit bus industry and its transit bus partners have been particularly hard hit during the COVID-19 pandemic. Nationally, transit ridership dropped by 79% compared with 2019 levels at the start of the pandemic, and ridership remains well below prepandemic levels on many systems. The future of the transit bus industry will depend on regaining the confidence of passengers.

Page 3
Suggested Citation:"Opening Remarks." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2023. Air Quality in Transit Buses. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/27033.
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Page 3
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With a major drop in U.S. transit ridership since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, an increased understanding of infectious disease in confined spaces and the role of droplets and particles in transmission has been increasingly important to the bus industry. A combination of experiments, models, and simulations in fluid dynamics has been employed to understand how aerosols move in spaces containing people.

TRB's Transportation Insights 2: Air Quality in Transit Buses provides a summary of a June 2022 in-person TRB Transit Cooperative Research Program (TCRP) Insight Event.

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