London Begins Reopening, Sees Commute Demands Change
London, England, has begun emerging from its COVID-19 shutdown and, according to the Evening Standard, is already seeing changes to demand for different commuting modes:
- Forty percent of Londoners say they’re hesitant to use the Tube rail system. Before COVID-19, 58 percent of people working in the city used the train or bus to get to work. Estimates are the system can only hold 13 to 15 percent of capacity while maintaining social distancing.
- The government is encouraging people to use bikes, scooters, and their feet to get around when possible. Estimates say about half of London commutes are less than three miles long.
- Car traffic is expected to spike but the city’s congestion charge returns to effect today and gets more expensive June 22. The city plans to ban cars from several major routes in an effort to calm traffic.
- Electric scooters, which were banned from roads before the shutdown, are expected to be allowed in new and existing bike lanes.
- Experts say most people won’t return to 9 to 5 desk jobs for quite some time, if ever, so they hope to get people back on the Tube, just on alternative schedules.