This report was largely prepared in 2019 and early 2020 before the novel coronavirus that causes COVID-19 struck the United States. Economic shutdowns and social distancing measures were put in place in multiple cities and states beginning in March 2020 to protect the public in the absence of treatments or vaccines. These measures resulted in profound impacts on the economy and society. Economic activity and employment plunged in weeks to depression-era levels and resulted in historic declines in travel by all modes. These impacts are still unfolding as this report is being released.
Prior to the pandemic, shared modes with names such as ridehailing, micromobility, and microtransit had been growing quickly up to 2019 and had been well received by many travelers across the country. Much of the report focuses on the potential benefits of combining trips between these shared modes and public transportation. Even before the pandemic, this was a rapidly changing set of opportunities as private companies explored new markets and public transportation agencies sought ways to collaborate with them. The authors of this report relied on the most recent academic studies and papers and the most recent blog posts to keep abreast of these changing developments. Even so, these studies and blogs were written without foreknowledge of the pandemic and the profound impacts it would have.
The report can be downloaded from the Transportation Research Board at http://www.trb.org/Main/Blurbs/181705.aspx