COVID-19 and Transportation Revenue: Using Scenario Analysis to Project a Range of Plausible Futures

Publication Date


Document Type

Contribution to a Book

Publication Title

Pandemic in the Metropolis: Transportation Impacts and Recovery


Anastasia Loukaitou-Sideris, Alexandre M. Bayen, Giovanni Circella, R. Jayakrishnan



First Page


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The sharp reduction in travel caused by the COVID-19 pandemic quickly created a financial emergency in the transportation sector, as fees paid by travelers provide much of the revenue for transportation. This chapter reports on research that began late in the summer of 2020, a time when there was widespread recognition among transportation experts that falling travel was decreasing fuel tax revenue, but great uncertainty about how much transportation revenue would be lost in both the short and longer term. The project developed six scenarios projecting California’s state-generated transportation revenue through 2040. The scenarios vary by factors such as the length of the economic fallout from the pandemic and changes in the number of electric vehicles in the light-duty fleet. Although the specific findings presented in this chapter come from California, the results illustrate different ways that scenario analysis helps policymakers make decisions in the face of immense uncertainty.

Funding Sponsor

University of Oregon


Urban and Regional Planning