Giving Compass' Take:

• Kristin Musulin summarizes the CDC's newly released plan to keep employees and travelers safe amidst a slow return to transit operations.

• Public transit is important for the environment and for access. What can you do to promote a safe return to operations during the pandemic?

• Find out how you can support funds for safe re-openings during the coronavirus outbreak.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released this week a 60-page document of guidance to support a number of industries and critical infrastructure workers in gradually scaling up operations, as the nation moves toward the recovery stage of the new coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

While much of the CDC's guidance may appear obvious to transit administrators, the recommendations are critical in ensuring efforts to reopen the economy are not squashed by an uptick in COVID-19 cases. The guidelines also offer creative suggestions — such as using ventilation systems to increase the circulation of outdoor air, or installing partitions on transit vehicles — that could serve as tangible solutions for agencies seeking a refresh of mitigation strategies.

The protection of mass transit workers is growing increasingly important as the pandemic persists. In New York's Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) alone, the authority has lost more than 120 workers to the virus, a number that has climbed steadily over the last two months. Agencies in Philadelphia, Chicago, Atlanta, Detroit and many others have also reported employee deaths.

Recovery will likely be a slow and drawn out journey for mass transit, especially as agencies face revenue losses that threaten their existence. On a press call hosted by the American Public Transportation Association (APTA)​ last week, MTA President of Construction and Development John Lieber​ said his agency is "going broke" in an effort to maintain transit operations for the people of New York.

Read the full article about the gradual return to transit operations by Kristin Musulin at Smart Cities Dive.