By Roamy Valera, CAPP
Saying goodbye to someone after a visit or meeting was clearly underrated prior to the pandemic. We had become accustomed to moving freely and willingly to visit family, friends, and colleagues. In my case, getting on a plane once a week and traveling for meetings and events was as common as my wife driving to her office.
For some of us, affection when meeting and/or greeting someone is part of who we are. The new normal makes it difficult for that firm handshake or warm hug. Instead, we are faced with a virtual reality, where our camera and microphone must carry and communicate our feelings. At times we find ourselves around a virtual table, feeling invisible.
I am reminded daily of how important being in the moment is for our family, friends, and colleagues. And how critical human interaction is for our well-being. According to novelist Terry McMillan, “Every human being I know craves love and affection.” This seems to ring true in today’s environment, where distance from our daily routines has affected us and our ability to show our love and affection has taken a different form.
I hope and trust we find the right vehicle to continue to express our love and affection to those we care about and come in contact with during our new normal. In the end, your legacy and mine will be made more meaningful by the impact we have on the lives we touched.
When will I see you again? I hope soon and I hope I have the ability to give you a firm handshake and a warm hug. Stay safe!
Roamy Valera, CAPP, is CEO, North America with PaybyPhone.
By Chris Lechner, CAPP
As the U.S. begins to open up in ways large and small, the mobility industry is preparing for a broad range of outcomes. There are two fundamental questions facing all of us:
- How many people are coming back to our venues?
- How are they going to get there?
The answers will determine our ability to accommodate mobility demand and allow us to begin to explore policy responses to the new (ab)normal.
We know that many businesses are increasing telecommuting and educational institutions are preparing to extend remote instruction. Many businesses have had to reduce their workforces, and local and state regulations have barred whole categories of activities. Even before formal lockdowns were implemented, many services were already experiencing cancellations of reservations and declining business. All of these factors would indicate that for the vast majority of use cases, total demand for mobility will be down.
Mobility professionals are well aware that most of the approaches to reducing traffic and parking congestion–buses, carpools, vanpools, and rail–require density and close physical contact. If people are unwilling to get onto densely packed modes of transportation or if those transit systems reduce their capacity to provide for physical distancing, people will be forced back into their cars or choose not to make those trips.
The balance between less demand for mobility in total and less demand for shared mobility as a percentage of the whole will dictate what our streets, structures, and curbs look like for the foreseeable future.
Chris Lechner, CAPP, is manager, data analytics and strategic projects, with UCLA Events and Transportation.