Mass transportation and social distancing are two notions that do not blend nicely. Despite the fact that the COVID-19 pandemic has caused cities across the world to establish strict physical separation precautions, the majority of them have been required to keep public transportation systems running for vital personnel. Of course, keeping transportation running while safeguarding the health of passengers and employees necessitates major changes.
Will people abandon congested public transportation in favour of more personal forms of transportation, such as bicycles or cars? Can public transit be modified to allow for more personal space? Answers to such issues are critical because if individuals travel less or differently after COVID-19 then we have to review the whole public transportation network.
Public transportation utilisation has fallen as a result of the pandemic. In late August 2020,
buses in London carried barely over half the amount of passengers normal for this period of year, while the Tube only transported a third. Several commuters are hesitantly returning to trains, buses, and subways as lockdowns lift and workplaces reopen in many countries. Some people are still not sure how safe public transportation is, but risk levels may change over time.
We’ve already witnessed the aviation industry’s problems. The COVID-19 virus has had significant cost consequences for public transportation. As a result, any reduction in service has significant implications even for public transportation personnel. Permanent employees may have their hours decreased, while casual employees may have difficulty getting rostered. This will exacerbate the psychological effects on employees.
Meanwhile, one early lesson from the pandemic is that cycling is on the rise. The Bicycle Organisation (BA),the UK’s national trade association, has issued a new study on the UK cycling economy called “COVID Impact,” which covers transactions from January to October 2020. The 89-page study reveals “unprecedented sales” of bicycles, including e-bikes.
Whilst public transport might be on the decline, it is great to see that people are looking at healthier options to get to and from work.