How Is COVID-19 Affecting Transportation?

Coronavirus has impacted just about every aspect of daily life, including transportation.

Between public, private, and commercial transportation, COVID-19 has changed how many people are on the road. Many workers are considered essential and must continue working to keep society functioning.

With this in mind, COVID-19 is causing more people to drive alone, rather than shared-ride methods like carpooling or public transportation. The risk of contracting an infection is higher in a confined space like a bus or train.

If you haven’t been on the road much lately or just want an idea of how transportation has changed, then you’ll need to understand how coronavirus is impacting the way people get around.

We have a few key differences below to get you started.

Public Transportation Safety Measures

One of the first differences is the addition of public transportation safety measures.

A significant challenge with COVID-19 is how infectious it is. Social distancing recommends giving others at least six feet of space, but this isn’t enough to adequately prevent the spread of coronavirus.

For reference, you can contract the virus just by being on the same bus with an infected passenger. If you’re sitting within a few meters of them, then the risk of getting sick is high.

In response to this, many public transportation options have implemented measures to reduce the spread of the virus.

This includes policies like encouraging social distancing by leaving messages to leave seats open, more frequent sanitization, and having staff wear protective items like masks and gloves.

As a bonus, many buses are offering free fares to help those in need during the crisis. While these actions won’t guarantee your safety, they significantly reduce the risk of contracting the virus.

Fewer Public Transit Riders

Another change relating to public transportation is fewer public transit riders.

Many people, yourself likely included, understand how dangerous public transportation can be. Even without the current pandemic, public transportation is not always the safest and cleanest mode of travel.

While safety measures are working to correct this, COVID-19 complicates the situation by making public transportation even riskier. Nobody wants to get sick and this means avoiding tight, cramped spaces with others.

Many commuters need public transit to get to work each day, but coronavirus has also put many out of work or in a telecommuting position. This means fewer people needing to commute, which translates to fewer people using public transit.

The other side of this is opting to drive instead of using public transportation. Those that need to continue commuting will choose to use their car.

Refraining from public transit is the correct decision as you can’t possibly know when someone with the virus will be riding with you.

Reduced Congestion

COVID-19 is also leading to reduced congestion on public roadways.

Across the board, there are fewer employees at their physical workplace. Unless you work for an essential business, you’re not likely to be working at the office every day.

Whether you’re being given time off or working from home, this means that you won’t be driving to work. Because many businesses are closed, you won’t be leaving the house for much other than to buy groceries and essentials.

Putting this into perspective, you’ll be spending very little time driving. Most others are just like you in this regard and this is illustrated by reduced congestion on public roadways.

Less Global Traffic

Lastly, coronavirus is causing less global traffic across the board.

Public transportation is being used significantly less during coronavirus and this also applies to less common methods of travel like train and airplane. Flights have been majorly impacted, with far fewer flyers needing or wanting to fly.

More importantly, the traffic of infrastructure has changed. During the current pandemic, priorities have shifted toward essentials. This includes goods like food, cleaning supplies, medical items, and household consumables.

With this in mind, the delivery of these essentials is vital. Other items matter less, which means that they won’t be transported right now.

As the focus is now on transportation of essentials, their pathway is being simplified through allowances and temporary laws passed by states. Everything else is on hold until it becomes relevant to distribute.

Closing Thoughts

COVID-19 has had a large impact on the transportation industry. Both workers and riders are affected. As the number of riders decreases, less work becomes available for transportation employees.

A few ways that coronavirus has shifted transportation include the implementation of safety measures on public transportation, fewer public transit riders, reduced congestion, and less global traffic.

Do your best to limit how much time you spend outside and avoid public transportation at all costs! As convenient as it may be, you don’t want to get sick and public transit is a likely cause.

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