by Maxine Joselow, Scientific American
- Public transportation advocates say that transit can play a crucial role in the pandemic era by reducing air pollution that makes people more susceptible to COVID-19.
- Subways account for 76% less carbon emissions than the average vehicle carrying a single person
- More single-occupant vehicles on the road will have long term climate and health effects
- A study of COVID-19 outbreaks in Paris showed that zero outbreak clusters originated on the city’s metro lines from May to June, but newer reports show that four outbreak clusters stemmed from public transportation
- In Japan, public transportation did not account for any outbreaks, but clusters were traced back to bars and live music venues
- There are no comparable studies on outbreaks on public transit within the United States
- The risk of using public transit is low if everyone is adhering to mask rules and physical distancing
Increased air pollution from fossil fuel emissions makes all of us more vulnerable to the current COVID-19 pandemic. The Climate Center’s Climate-Safe California Platform includes solutions for clean mobility to cut greenhouse gas emissions from transportation.