TRANSPORTATION AND COVID-19: A State Guide to Policy and Priorities

Jan 27, 2021

As states grapple with the COVID-19 pandemic and its long-term impact on travel patterns and budgets, Reason Foundation and Washington Policy Center released a new joint study, Transportation and COVID-19: A State Guide to Policy and Priorities, that helps states develop and implement new and improved transportation policies.  The study was a collaborative effort with transportation analysts from across the country.  With the COVID-19 pandemic introducing both long-term fiscal challenges and unprecedented uncertainty into everyday transportation operations, this study assists state legislators in refocusing transportation policy toward mitigating risks in public-sector transportation operations and infrastructure investments.

Transportation and COVID-19: A State Guide to Policy and Priorities lists seven ways transportation policy should be modified to better respond to the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.  Report topics include how states and cities can:

  • reinvent mass transit;
  • adapt to short- and long-term changes to more people working from home;
  • use public/private partnerships to improve asset management and fund projects they can’t afford;
  • prioritize making our highway systems more reliable for people and businesses depending on them.

The policy report provides legislators with specific changes they can make in each of seven areas to ensure the policies are implemented effectively.

"The pandemic has upended our lives, including transportation policy,” said Baruch Feigenbaum, senior managing director of transportation at Reason Foundation. “Even with vaccines now being distributed, it is unclear when—or if—Americans will return to their previous travel patterns so policymakers need to revisit existing infrastructure plans and utilize these policies that can help them navigate the extended period of uncertainty we're going to be in." 

“Sound transportation policy, as well as safe and flexible mobility, will be vital to our future economic prosperity,“ said Mariya Frost, Coles Center for Transportation Director at Washington Policy Center. “Trends were pointing toward needed change before, but the pandemic has made change a necessity.  Our study lays out an improved path in an easy-to-use and understandable fashion.”

Contributors to Transportation and COVID-19: A State Guide to Policy and Priorities are:
Robert PooleDirector of Transportation Policy, Reason Foundation
Baruch FeigenbaumSenior Managing Director, Transportation Policy, Reason Foundation
Randal O’TooleCato Institute Senior Fellow, Urban Growth, Public Land and Transportation Issues
Mariya FrostColes Center for Transportation Director, Washington Policy Center
Wendell CoxPrincipal, Demographia, Wendell Cox Consultancy
Marc ScribnerSenior Transportation Policy Analyst, Reason Foundation
Read the complete study here

For MEDIA INTERVIEWS with Reason Foundation contributors, please contact Allison Tierney, Communications Specialist, Reason Foundation, 616-550-5769,

For MEDIA INTERVIEWS with Mariya Frost or Wendell Cox, please contact David Boze, Director of Communications and Marketing, Washington Policy Center, 425-248-1408 or