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Portland is a PR machine for light rail & streetcar

Here are Some Facts About Portland Oregon          

“It must always be remembered how cost-effectiveness works in the public sector: the cost IS the benefit.” - author unknown

Mass Transit; High Density Spread Diseases

NY Subway “Major Disseminator” of COVID-19

MIT study: “New York City’s multitentacled subway system was a major disseminator — if not the principal transmission vehicle — of coronavirus infection during the initial takeoff of the massive epidemic that became evident throughout the city during March 2020,”  

New York Times: All of those people, in such a small space, appear to have helped the virus spread rapidly through packed subway trains, busy playgrounds and hivelike apartment buildings,  forming ever-widening circles of infections and making New York the nation’s epicenter of the outbreak.

Transit may increase infections 6X    

We found a statistically significant association between ARI and bus or tram use in the five days before symptom onset.

China Study: 34% of cases due to Transit

Methods: Case reports were extracted from the local Municipal Health Commissions of 320 prefectural cities (municipalities) in China, not including Hubei province, between 4 January and 11 February 2020. … We divided the venues in which the outbreaks occurred into six categories: homes, transport, food, entertainment, shopping, and miscellaneous. Among the identified outbreaks, 53.8% involved three cases, 26.4% involved four cases, and only 1.6% involved ten or more cases. Home outbreaks were the dominant category (254 of 318 outbreaks; 79.9%), followed by transport (108; 34.0%; note that many outbreaks involved more than one venue category). (Bold added) https://www.medrxiv.org/content/10.1101/2020.04.04.20053058v1   


“Most of the transmissions took place in people’s homes from family members or other relatives. Outside of homes, more than two out of three outbreaks were due to transport, which the paper defines to include “train, private car, high-speed rail, bus, passenger plane, taxi, cruise ship, etc.” However, beyond this statement, the paper focuses exclusively on mass transport, not private cars.”  http://ti.org/antiplanner/?p=17084

Transit spreads TB too

“The Houston Tuberculosis Initiative targeted a number of predictable risk factors associated with the distribution of endemic TB, including income, race and history of homelessness. It also found one rather surprising link: use of public transportation. “ … “For bus commutes above an hour, the increase in incidence of TB was reportedly eight times the baseline level, the group reported in a recent issue of the journal Tuberculosis.”  (Bold added)  https://www.citylab.com/transportation/2011/11/are-city-buses-making-us-sick/579/

The study:  https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22094150

The other study:  https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S1472979211001752

PANDHUB - Prevention and management of of high threat pathogen incidents in transport hubs

The Journal,  Environ Health :  The transmission of infectious diseases is dependent on the amount and nature of contacts between infectious and healthy individuals. Confined and crowded environments that people visit in their day-to-day life (such as town squares, business districts, transport hubs, etc) can act as hot-spots for spreading disease. In this study we explore the link between the use of public transport and the spread of airborne infections in urban environments.


We study a large number of journeys on the London Underground, which is known to be particularly crowded at certain times. We use publically available Oyster card data (the electronic ticket used for public transport in Greater London), to infer passengers’ routes on the underground network. In order to estimate the spread of a generic airborne disease in each station, we use and extend an analytical microscopic model that was initially designed to study people moving in a corridor.

Higher Density Spreads Disease:  The scaling of contact rates with population density for the infectious disease models  Mathematical Biosciences, Volume 244, Issue 2, August 2013, Pages 125-134