A telling subplot to the health threats of the COVID-19 virus outbreak has been its impact on transportation and work habits in the Puget Sound region.
A story in the online news site The Lens reports on survey findings that bus and light rail services could experience lasting drops in ridership as a result of the virus.
According to a new survey by IBM’s Institute for Business Value, of the 25,000 people polled, more than 20% who regularly used transit would no longer use it, while 28% said they would use it less often. Over 50% of respondents said they would either stop using ridesharing apps or rely on them less, and 25% said they plan to only travel in a personal vehicle.
Contributing to this possibility could be employees who may prefer to telework for the long term, the article reported. Some transportation analysts say the situation presents an opportunity to reexamine future transit investment and the role telecommuting can play in reducing traffic congestion. Retailers will likely be interested in any reduction in traffic because it can determine the ability to efficiently deliver merchandise to stores and customers.