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Project Highlights

COVID-19 Feasibility Study for Transit Bus Operator Temporary Barrier

Through funding supplied by the Federal Transit Administration under the project title “Technical Support for Transit Safety Standards and Standards Initiative,” VTTI collaborated with the Center for Urban Transportation Research at the University of South Florida to study transit bus ventilation in the age of COVID-19. Senior research associate Andrew Krum served as the principal investigator (PI) for this project and can be reached at

The main objectives of the study were to explore:

  • ways of decreasing bus operators' exposure to COVID-19 through airborne droplets and particles
  • how to maximize fresh air for passengers who were on the bus for less time than the bus drivers
  • the feasibility of establishing a temporary barrier to efficiently arrange the direction of air flow and pressure in a transit bus (barrier design was created by VTTI before testing commenced)

The physical bus airflow analysis was tested on the Virginia Smart Roads on three separate 40-ft transit bus configurations. Subsequent recommendations included combining gravity (physical distance) and dilution (fresh air) with established and new bus components that can decrease the exposure of bus drivers and passengers to COVID-19 on different bus configurations.