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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Pooled and Shared Travel in the Wake of the Pandemic: An Inventory and User and Expert Assessments of Vehicle Design Strategies to Mitigate Risk of Disease Transmission

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This project involved the development of a COVID-19 Risk-mitigating Vehicle Design (CRVD) typology to summarize and analyze the wide variety of vehicle design strategies that have been implemented or suggested to reduce the risk of COVID-19 transmission among workers and passengers in shared and pooled vehicles. Public transit and shared mobility service operators can use the CRVD typology as a reference and guide to aid decision-making in their continued response to the pandemic as well as for future planning. The typology also serves as a launching point for further innovation and research to evaluate the effectiveness of CRVD strategies and their relationship to user preferences and travel behavior, again both within and beyond the current context. This research also explored layperson and expert perceptions of the identified CRVD strategies. By combining these perspectives, a holistic frame can be created to start to develop optimal vehicle design solutions that would be both objectively effective in preventing COVID-19 spread and making travelers feel safe. Ultimately, the hope is that this research can help support a safe return to shared and pooled travel in the wake of the pandemic and contribute to a better—more equitable, sustainable, and enjoyable—mobility future.

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