Remote work, changes in ridership and financial pressures created by the pandemic revealed the strengths and weaknesses of current transit networks.

At the CoMotion LA conference last week, transportation leaders shared their views on urban mobility reaching an inflection point. Eulois Cleckley, CEO of the Department of Transportation and Public Works for Miami-Dade County, said the COVID-19 crisis spurred the government to "think outside of the box, be more nimble and react much more quickly."

Four panelists representing cities in the U.S., Canada and the Netherlands, along with the previous transportation department leader in Chicago and Washington, D.C., and partner at consulting firm CityFi Gabe Klein, agreed that the pandemic signaled a break from past assumptions and practices.

"When you think about it, it's not just urban mobility at an inflection point," said Klein. "It's really our society at an inflection point worldwide."

Stephanie Wiggins, who formerly led the Los Angeles regional commuter railroad Metrolink and is now CEO at LA Metro, called the pandemic "a real disruptor for transit agencies." Since joining LA Metro in June, she said that she has spent much of her time hearing from transit customers, employees, contractors and advocates. "We need to recast and reframe our entire organizational culture. We must go back to basics and align our culture with the needs of our customer," she said in her keynote address.

Read the full article about public transport by Dan Zukowski at Smart Cities Dive.