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The public response to the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic and the subsequent national, state, county, and local mandatory stay-at-home orders has significantly impacted transportation demand globally, nationally, regionally, and locally. As the largest metropolitan planning organization in the nation, the Southern California Association of Governments (SCAG) is at the forefront of transportation planning and analysis. In order to facilitate regional planning and public awareness, SCAG prepared this document to highlight impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on transportation activities to date.

​This white paper provides an initial assessment of potential employment and taxable sales implications of the COVID-19 pandemic in the region as of the end of April, 2020. A discussion of data and information used in their development is also provided. The analysis assumes a low-point occurring around June 1, 2020 with a resumption of some economic activity thereafter, but a long, slow recovery extending through the end of 2021. Additionally, numerous assumptions are made about the decline and potential recovery trajectory in individual industry sectors. Future taxable sales in the SCAG region are compared to a baseline and assume a linear growth trajectory between June 2020 and December 2021. Employment and economic output are modeled separately using a structural economic forecasting model (REMI). Analyses of the pandemic’s impact at this stage are subject to an extremely high level of uncertainty; importantly this analysis does not assume a second wave of the pandemic or specifically model the impact of additional federal action. As the pandemic unfolds and additional data become available, these assumptions, modeling strategies, and outputs can be revised.

SCAG's Transportation Demand Management (TDM) Strategic Plan identifies TDM policies and programs that increase the efficiency of the transportation system, reducing vehicle miles traveled and greenhouse gas emissions through alternative modes of travel. The Plan helps guide short, medium and long-term initiatives, defines specific management strategies for the region's most congested corridors, and develops specific performance measures to evaluate the cost effectiveness and benefits of TDM strategies. The Plan was developed through a region-wide collaborative effort involving diverse stakeholders from the public, non-profit, and private sectors, and is an important element of Connect SoCal. SCAG is currently in the process of implementing several priority recommendations. For more information, contact Tom Bellino, bellino@scag.ca.gov, (213) 236-1830.

SCAG’s Bike Share in Los Angeles County Study examines the role of bike share in the Los Angeles regional transportation system. The results are intended to guide decision-making related to future system investments and new shared mobility programs in the region. This report shows that users are happy with what these systems offer and for the most part simply want more of it — more availability of bikes, more flexibility for trip times, more e-bikes, more geographic reach, and more integration with transit. Recommendations identified through this effort include investment in equitable access and the identification of new funding opportunities.

SCAG maintains a Federal and State Legislative Program, which consists of the Regional Council’s positions on policies and legislative initiatives related to SCAG’s core planning and policy areas that need the leadership and support of Congress and the California State Legislature to resolve challenges facing the SCAG region. This report summarizes SCAG’s 2019 legislative priorities around the issues of transportation, air quality, freight/goods movement, housing, environmental impact, sustainability, and economic recovery and job creation.​

SCAG’s "Mobility Go Zone Program Feasibility Study" takes a close look at how cordon pricing, and a "Go Zone" program, could be deployed to better manage traffic congestion and greenhouse gas emissions in Southern California. SCAG selected the Westside Los Angeles area for analysis as an initial proof-of-concept pilot location. This report shows that decongestion fees can have sizable impact in transportation mode choices and overall travel times by incentivizing motorists to travel at different times throughout the day. ​

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