The spread of the novel coronavirus affected every one of us in many different ways. People from all walks of life partly suffered due to the lockdowns. Many safety measures were put up because of how the virus is passed around. This meant that students had to stay at home and simply attend virtual classes.
Many hands-on activities that are developing children were supposed to learn from turned into online instruction that eliminated much-needed physical interaction. Senior citizens in nursing homes were further isolated as their families lessened visiting trips. Because of their vulnerability to the disease, fewer people were allowed to attend to their needs, leaving them with fewer people to spend time with.
But one of the biggest effects of the pandemic is on the economy and the millions of businesses that people rely on for work. With the pandemic protocols that prevented physical interaction between employees and customers, business owners had to take different measures to keep their businesses alive and earning while the world was in chaos. This, in turn, affected public transportation that regularly saw waves of employees going to their workplaces in the past.
The Source: Work from Home
Most businesses resorted to online transactions that can keep their employees and customers safe from the virus. This meant that employees had to work remotely in their homes through online apps and websites. Most administrative work can easily be done digitally, so many corporate businesses that profit from circulating information and promoting communications thrived in the circumstance.
Other companies had to adapt to the virtual world but ultimately adjusted with just a few changes. But not everyone can fully commit to this work setting as some jobs require a certain level of physical contact with their clients, especially in the hospitality industry. This led to many workers losing their jobs or temporarily halting their work until it is safe to socialize with people once again.
Result: Going Back to Family Homes
Workers that moved to the city before the pandemic to find their desired line of work are now going back to their family homes. Many of these people are young aspirants looking to make it big in the cities where there are supposedly more opportunities. Most of them rent out spaces to live in as they work their way to their dreams. But now that working anywhere away from the office is a viable option for some employees, many of them are hiring movers to help them relocate their lives away from the hustle and bustle of the city while still tending to their job in the process.
Result: Dwindling of Commuters
Due to many people now working remotely, public transportation lost many passengers as commuters dwindled drastically in number, especially during the early months of the pandemic. Many people who relied on buses, trains, and cabs worried about catching the disease while touching surfaces in public transport and while standing, walking, or sitting beside strangers.
Even when operators are trying to deep clean and sanitize the premises, it may not be enough to encourage all commuters to resume their old routines. Some are going back to commuting as more are getting vaccinated, but definitely fewer people can be found in stations as other methods may prove to be safer.
Result: Private Vehicles
Some people still have to physically go to work daily. Instead of commuting, many prefer to drive their own cars to minimize contact with other people. Car sellers are currently seeing a rising number of car buyers as lockdowns and pandemic restrictions are letting up in more states. Many prefer to use their cars for practical purposes rather than for leisure but the regained mobility encouraged people to prepare for when they have to get around once the virus is eradicated.
Alternative: Biking and Walking
While many prefer to use their cars, some also expressed wanting to switch to more eco-friendly ways to get to their jobs. In the beginning, we were prisoners to our homes, leaving us with nothing to do but work a little and then eat, sit, sleep, and scroll through social media the rest of the time. With this, many wanted to burn the accumulated calories by walking or biking to their offices.
The pandemic, more or less, negatively affected public transportation everywhere in the world. It has seen a decline in commuters due to the fear of contracting the disease in closed and crowded areas. This resulted in a rise in private modes of transportation that are deemed safer than commuting. But as vaccines are getting around, more businesses are opening back up. People everywhere are using their cars to continue working in their offices. This should soon result in an anticipated heavier flow of traffic in big cities.