Coronavirus Prompts Public Shift from Public to Private Transportation

commuters

Coronavirus has people leery of using public transportation. That seems to be the upshot of a recent cars.com study conducted in August. More people are opting to use their private cars over public transportation. The obvious link is the virus, and the desire to avoid crowded buses, subways, and trains.

The study, comprised of 3,062 people, found that more than one-third of Americans are now working from home. When they do return to the workplace, they won’t be getting there via public transportation. They plan, instead, to use their own private cars.

Some 43 percent of Americans lack faith that their fellow passengers, in a public transportation situation, would follow the rules on health and safety. The other 57 percent say they have “moderate trust” in other passengers. Many of those surveyed, some 35 percent, said they plan to commute less even after they return to the office.

Coronavirus: People are Buying New Cars

As many as 62 percent of workers switched from using public transportation to using their own cars. A full 21 percent of respondents noted that they have purchased cars over the past six months, with 57 percent attributing the new car purchase to the pandemic. Of those who typically rode the bus, pre-coronavirus, 65 percent have either stopped riding, or are riding less frequently. Subway riders have followed suit with 60 percent having stopped riding or riding less frequently, while 59 percent are cutting back on their use ride-sharing since the virus hit.

“As much of the American office workforce continues to work remotely, there is a major shift in commuting behavior, which is likely to have a lasting impact long after we return to the office,” says cars.com Assistant Managing Editor Matt Schmitz. “When they do finally return to the office, it won’t be via mass transit. Personal vehicles will dominate the work commute as distrust in public transport and ride-sharing continues.”

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