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NACTO Statement on New CDC Guidance: Transit Needs to be Prioritized, Not Feared

May 29, 2020

Corinne Kisner, Executive Director of the National Association of City Transportation Officials (NACTO), issued the following statement in response to new CDC guidance that recommends incentivizing commuting by single-occupancy vehicles:

Transit is essential for daily life in cities of all sizes. For millions, including people working in healthcare, warehouses, and grocery stores, transit is a lifeline to get to work.

The recent CDC guidance, released yesterday, proposes that Americans avoid transit and instead increase their reliance on solo car trips. This guidance is misguided, unsafe, and unworkable for cities. Driving alone is the least efficient, least sustainable, and least affordable way for people to move. If these guidelines are followed, our cities will be in a state of paralyzing gridlock and our economy, our cities, and all people living in the U.S. will suffer.

Transit needs to be prioritized, not feared, to continue to be a resource for the people who rely on it—the same people our cities depend on for the basics of life, including food and healthcare.

As activity on our streets increases, cities and states must dedicate street space to expand and support efficient transit operations, and rapidly create places to walk and bike to relieve crowding on reduced-capacity trains and buses. Employers likewise need to encourage and incentivize these safe, physically distant alternatives to driving. Without urgently taking all of these steps, our essential workers will be stranded, and gridlock will threaten the health and livelihood of our cities.

About the National Association of City Transportation Officials (NACTO)
NACTO is an association of 84 major North American cities and transit agencies formed to exchange transportation ideas, insights, and practices and cooperatively approach national transportation issues. The organization’s mission is to build cities as places for people, with safe, sustainable, accessible, and equitable transportation choices that support a strong economy and vibrant quality of life. To learn more, visit or follow us on Twitter at @NACTO.

Alexander Engel | [email protected]