Many companies that benefitted from the pandemic, such as delivery companies and companies in the health industry, were forced to develop their customer service, delivery methods and web services. Many of these topics are already widely discussed but the one I wanted to touch up on, is what Covid-19 did to transportation habits all around the world.
First, I’d like to mention, that the greatest effect that Covid had to commuting was that there was nearly none. Secondly, it’s completely understandable that Covid-19 thoroughly changed the way many people commute. One of my acquaintance sold his car because like many others, he had the chance to remote work, meaning there was no more need to commute every day. I personally know people who had to give up their car because they couldn’t afford it anymore after losing their jobs. Other people made the choice of letting go of their car voluntarily. Just here in Finland, there was a large spike in pausing of car insurances. Tens of thousands of car insurances were paused weekly compared to last fall. On the other hand, there was a huge need for personal transportation, since public transportation wasn’t considered safe. When Covid really hit, it was fortunately already spring in many parts of Europe. That meant better weather, and other possibilities in commuting. For example, The E-bike market saw a huge boom (and it was already trending), fast-tracking E-bike and city bike infrastructure by many years in just a few months.
When the planes and cars stopped moving and many factories had to suspend their production, our planet finally got a little break. The air hasn’t been this clean in major cities like Hong Kong or Los Angeles in a long time. There has been many viral posts in social media featuring sceneries from these cities that weren’t visible yet in fall 2019 because of the pollution.
After implementing the remote work -policies in many companies around the world, I don’t think they are necessarily going back anytime soon. After realizing companies can save money in the rent of office spaces and employees time every day not making them commute every single day, why’d they go back? I believe many found alternative ways to fill their personal transport needs during Covid when they didn’t necessarily have access to a car. One of the effects will definitely be, that public transport will take a hit. People will probably be scared of cramped public spaces for at least a while. I hope that the pollution problem wouldn’t get as bad as it was before when lockdowns are being lifted and we are getting back to a new normal.