The Sustainability Response to COVID-19

A man sits in a nearly-empty subway car, wearing a face mask.

In 2020, ridership on mass transit systems declined worldwide in reaction to the COVID-19 pandemic. By 2021, the need to plan for a post-COVID future in public transportation became pressing. (Photo courtesy of Can Pac Swire on Flickr. License: CC BY-NC.)


MIT Course Number


As Taught In

January IAP 2021



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Course Description

Course Features

Course Description

This course explores the importance of public transportation to social and economic recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic and seeks to identify approaches to restoring transit ridership, with a focus on Metro Boston. We will attempt to (1) understand whether and how the COVID-19 pandemic can advance sustainable mobility, and specifically the role(s) of public transportation in the COVID-19 recovery process, and (2) identify policies and/or interventions that may encourage pre-COVID transit riders to return to transit and attract net new transit ridership.

Related Content

Jim Aloisi. 11.S955 The Sustainability Response to COVID-19. January IAP 2021. Massachusetts Institute of Technology: MIT OpenCourseWare, License: Creative Commons BY-NC-SA.

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