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Will People Drive More Due To COVID-19?

While we wait to see what would be the effects of gradually phasing out shelter-in-place requirements in different parts of the world, there are questions about how life will change post COVID-19.

As companies start letting workers to come in to offices on a reduced basis, and schools open, one wonders how people are going to commute. Will there be school buses packed with kids? Most likely not. Will people use buses and trains to commute to work in large numbers? It is unlikely, at least for some time.

Does that mean that we will see more people using their personal modes of transport like cars and two-wheelers? That would be my guess. Even if more people would work from home than before for months to come, the increase in the number of people driving on their own might more than compensate for that. So the roads are probably going to fill up again. It might also mean that more people will buy or lease cars, or get an additional car for the family.

Roads can get congested during commute yours. Dropping off your kids at school may actually take more of your time than before.

Revenues from public transport would be significantly lower, and so it would cost our governments more to keep people on the move. With more cars on the roads, we might see more accidents, which in turn mean higher auto insurance premiums.

It is really hard to imagine how places like New York or Mumbai would look with a lot of regular commuters using something other than public transportation. To encourage people to start using buses and trains again, we need to find ways to make them safer from contracting the virus. There might be some opportunities for some novel personal protection products there.

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