As COVID-19’s restrictions, lockdowns, and isolation begin to fade in many parts of the U.S. and vaccination rates inch upward, there is no shortage of ink spilled about the strain the pandemic’s restrictions have put on our public transportation systems. With so many people still preferring a virtual environment for our work, schooling, worship and doctors’ appointments, challenges for public transportation agencies remain stark as dramatic declines in ridership persist. But a closer look at those numbers reveals opportunity, as well. Bus networks, often overlooked despite their predominance on the North American transit landscape, have proven surprisingly resilient this year, and they’ve been key to meeting the transportation needs for the frontline healthcare workers and essential employees that have kept our communities going. These trends demonstrate the critical need for transit officials to maintain or improve service in these networks to meet the demands of a post-pandemic rider base, even as we continue to expand infrastructure and service across the transit ecosystem.