The effects of social distancing on public transport:
2020 was the year that brought many unexpected changes in people's lives worldwide, and it changed how we view public transportation. With the spread of the coronavirus, people were more reluctant to use public transport due to fear of unhygienic circumstances. At the same time, they also wanted and needed to adhere to social distancing. Not uniquely, people were worldwide encouraged to avoid public transport and stay home. Once working from home became the new normal, people commuted even less, making some of the public transportation services an expensive option for operators.
However, even with the lower demand and social distancing, the operator costs elevated due to having to hire additional staff to disinfect the vehicles and conduct hygiene checks. There was a need for adding extra trains, busses, and trams to the schedules to adhere to the social distancing regulations.
There was a growing concern about more cars appearing back on the roads and reversing the development of reduced single-car usage, especially in urban areas.
On-demand shared mobility during social distancing
With the introduction of on-demand shared mobility, urban areas are able to supplement and relieve the pressure on public transport by creating opportunities for alternative public transport feeder routes. People can easily connect to public transportation services by using electric scooters, e-bikes and bikes on the road from areas on the outskirts of cities. These modern mobility solutions offer efficient, fast and cost-effective options for reaching urban transportation hubs.
Data-management of the mobility landscape:
Data has an important place in the future's mobility landscape. Tracking and understanding the user demand and behavior and sharing the data helps create efficient transport routes and enables the seamless cooperation of public transportation and private mobility.
Accessible modern mobility
While public transportation can cater to a specific niche very well, adaptation and support are required to enable a modern and flexible mobility network in some other areas.
In summary, social distancing has strengthened the movement that enables modern micro-mobility and supports the introduction of new mobility networks, regulations, and a different approach to creating road infrastructures in the future.