As a New Yorker who relies on public transport, the personal effects of the pandemic have been surprisingly positive. With nearly empty buses and trains, it’s been a breeze getting to-and-from work.
While it’s been great from an efficiency standpoint, there is a distinct difference in how operations are run, and supporting businesses are definitely feeling the drop off in foot traffic.
Adapting To The Demand
With less occupancy rate, the demand for public transport vehicles also increase. There are still many people who need to get to their work without having to brush elbows with other passengers.
The solution here is to increase public transport vehicles like buses. In New York, there is about 97 km of new bus lanes that have been requested in order to help deal with the congestion level during the pandemic. Now, you can catch more buses in the big apple to take you where you need to go.
While there is no real evidence that the use of public transport increases the risk of infection, the Metropolitan Transportation Authority is erring on the side of caution.
Many countries didn’t find any cluster of COVID-19 cases with riders that use public transportation. This may be due to the fact that all riders are wearing masks and that they aren’t really talking to other passengers.
What’s even better news is that those who operate on mass transit have stepped up their game. They are taking extra measures to ensure the safety of all passengers and staff that use their transport systems. With this, they can make public transport systems much appealing to the public. We can’t do anything else but to adapt to the current situation.
Different transport systems have more strict cleaning protocols just to be sure. They use various anti-viral products or simply soap and water to disinfect. Also, touch sites are disinfected at intervals to make sure the virus doesn’t spread. Many also instruct their drivers to allow proper ventilation so windows are opened and the air-conditioning isn’t put on recirculation mode.
In addition to cleaning and disinfecting, there are also reminders for the public about not touching their faces, wearing of masks and hand washing before and after use of public transport. However, we must remember that these safety measures aren’t just for those who use public transport. They are also applicable to everyone. Even if you ride your own car, motorcycle or bicycle, coughing or sneezing can spread the virus to other people. Remember to always wash your hands.
Lastly, public transport systems also see to it that there is proper distancing amongst passengers and staff are observed. Masks are also worn to further prevent the spread of the virus. Also, the occupancy rate of the public transport systems is reduced to ensure there is proper spacing amongst all riders.
The Future Of Public Transport
The pandemic has left a great impact on how the cities provide and run their public transport systems. Even when all these are over, the changes done in response to the pandemic will still have an effect on the future of public transport.
This could lead the authorities to consider increasing pop-up bus lanes. Considering that they make it easier for a large population of various income levels to efficiently.