Shifting our R&D Program in Response to COVID-19:

Pressing Needs and Pressing Questions


COVID-19 is transforming every facet of transportation – from supply chains to telework to basic project delivery and stakeholder engagement. In response, all of us are rapidly adjusting, refining priorities, clarifying the essential needs and services, and adapting to the moment. No one is sure what the new normal will look like, but there are immediate choices to be made and real consequences will follow.

At Fehr & Peers, we are responding to this challenge by redirecting and accelerating our 2020 research and development (R&D) program in response to the shifts due to this pandemic. Because we fund our own research, we can be extremely nimble in our investments of staff time and research dollars, which is precisely what is needed in a time like this.

First, we are committed to deploying the full force of our R&D effort to meet our clients’ most pressing needs and focus our efforts on the most pressing challenges facing communities in the context of COVID-19. Second, we have restructured our R&D action plans to identify and develop solutions to the emerging questions and priorities that we anticipate and are hearing from our clients. Shortly after the initial outbreak, we invited and requested your input and collaboration to make the most of our R&D investments within the 5 areas of research. The following posts posed questions worth examining and a few immediately planned actions to shift our focus.

Community Engagement – view post

Transit and Emerging Modes – view post

Travel Trends and Demand Management – view post

Freight and Curb Space – view post

Active Modes and Complete Street Design – view post

Since that time, we’ve been sharing applied research examples to help offer clarity moving forward through ongoing uncertainty. Explore some of those efforts below:

TrendLab+ 2020: Scenario Planning for Pandemic Recovery

TrendLab+ 2020: Scenario Planning for Pandemic Recovery

Our FP Think group completed development of the new, customizable TrendLab+ 2020 tool for forecasting travel demand effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. Our further advancement of the TrendLab+ 2020 tool led to the discovery of several important results related to vehicle miles traveled and transit ridership.
Our Accelerated Research Agenda

Our Accelerated Research Agenda

We’ve been talking with clients and teaming partners over the last couple of months about how COVID-19 is impacting travel and engagement in their communities. Explore how we have shifted and accelerated our R&D in response to the most pressing needs.

Things are changing daily. We’re here to help and listen. Let us know what deserves the most research attention in your community.

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