As countries come out of lockdown and people resume daily commute, they must be prepared for the changes they would see around in their daily modes of transportation and the change of people’s behavior during the commute.
The pandemic has forced citizens around the world to experience lots of changes and the way we commute daily will also not be spared.
As people become more health conscious with regards to the micro-organisms in the atmosphere the changes in our way of commuting will not be the same. Let’s check the difference in the blog point by point.
1.To practice social distancing, those who can afford to opt for travel using a personal vehicle will add to the traffic issue that many cities are facing.
Public transport or shared transport was being emphasized by the government to reduce the traffic congestion on road but people switching to personal vehicles will counteract government’s effort.
This will create adverse effects not only on the environment but will have other impacts as well.
2.To reduce physical contact, people are switching to online transactions.
Many start-up companies have come up with applications that let users transfer money or make payment for product or service either by using a QR code or contact numbers which are linked to the bank account.
There is no lower limit to the amount however banks and online payment applications frame policies to limit the number and amount of transactions as they seem fit.
This will have both positive and negative impacts which may not be immediate but can be predicted for a future time.
3.To practice social distancing between driver and passengers, public transport operators like a cab, autorickshaw, and bus owners have fixed a transparent layer of plastic to enclose themselves away from the passengers.
In many vehicles, some kind of partition is fixed even to separate the passengers. These are mostly transparent to enable the passengers to scan code and make an online payment.
4.To enforce social distancing means to reduce the number of passengers in public vehicles.
When practiced this would increase the cost of transportation which would impact the public financially.
In the current environment when many people have lost the means to earn a livelihood, they don’t need an increase in the cost of transportation.
5.Cities around the world have started changing road arrangements to allow more public vehicles.
As many employees continue to work from remote locations, more vehicles can be added to maintain social distancing for people who must travel for work like employees working in manufacturing companies or logistic companies.
Though this arrangement could be temporary, it would be of much value.
6.Since one of the ways to prevent the spread of covid was to track and trace the people who had contracted covid and those who came in contact with the affected people, government, as well as private companies, developed or modified applications thus keeping a record of the movement of public and the people who they came in contact with along with the locations where they came in contact with each other.
7.As governments roll out vaccines, cab aggregator companies and public transport companies rush to ensure vaccination for drivers. Few companies have come up with their vaccines and the government does have a strategy to get the public vaccinated as fast as possible.
8.Public transport vehicles are being sanitized regularly and mostly after a ride completes. In some places, robotic machines are being deployed, while are being done by manual labor in most of the places. This would reduce the risk of people contracting the virus.
9.Regular temperature checks at railway stations, bus stands, or airports manually or by a screening system can help to know if a person has a fever which is the primary symptom of covid.
This would be a mandatory check and, in most cases, people will not be allowed to travel if they don’t comply or have a high fever.
People would be expected to and must practice personal hygiene such as masks, gloves, sanitizers, or regular health checks.
These things are not going away any time soon.
Regular temperature check or getting tested for covid when other symptoms are observed can help fight covid at an early stage which can help prevent any huge damage to the body.
10.To reduce rush at a specific time of the day which leads to overcrowding, in public places like transport vehicles, schools, and offices. To implement this, companies are also making changes in work timing for people in the same team and also would change the attendance policy to practice social distancing.
11.Till the pandemic does not end completely from the whole world the citizens are expected and required to follow safety precautions. Many Asians have already been practicing personal hygiene due to other reasons such as pollution or another deadly virus such as bird flu, etc.
There are many drawbacks to the above-mentioned changes, out of which few prominent ones are listed below.
Social distancing could also have a negative effect on society as people would prefer to isolate themselves in public instead of socializing. There are studies being conducted to understand the mental effect of self-isolation on the masses.
Extra measures to implement safety will attract additional costs to the companies plying public vehicles.
This would in turn fall on the general public.
12.People opting to travel by own vehicle will temporarily increase vehicle sales and fuel consumption.
Moreover, changes can be made in road travel much faster than rail or flights (that is by adding more trains or flights).
These changes might be temporary and could last only till the pandemic exists, but are very much needed.
As we understood the changes in the above points, we would already see them in practice around us daily.
What changes have you made in the ways you commute?