Car-sharing companies are taking a less germ-infested route in Covid-19 times

Car-sharing companies are taking a less germ-infested route in Covid-19 times

Bloomberg May 20, 2020 Car-sharing platforms, which have suffered during the Covid-19 lockdown, see an opportunity emerging: an increase in short-distance, local trips as U.S. consumers look for a different way of getting to work and running errands. Executives from Turo, GetAround and ZipCar are hoping their pitch to customers—a means of travel that is cheaper than car ownership and sanitary—will also win business from public transit users and Uber and Lyft riders. In addition to the uptick in shorter trips, the companies also report increased use by essential workers and health-care workers. “Customer confidence in travel safety can change their booking habits,” said Preeti Wadhwani, a research analyst with Global Market Insights. “Health-care providers or first responders are relying on car-sharing companies such as Turo to commute to work.” GetAround says overall trip volume in the U.S. has declined by almost 50% since states began shutting down their economies in mid-March. Turo says its business also has fallen dramatically, undoing the 60% year-on-year growth they saw as recently as February, according to Chief Executive Officer Andre Haddad. Zipcar also reports an “expected decline in demand,” particularly in business travel and on university campuses, Zipcar President Tracey Zhen said in an email… Read full article...
Will Bay Area traffic come roaring back after COVID-19? It might if we ditch transit for cars

Will Bay Area traffic come roaring back after COVID-19? It might if we ditch transit for cars

Nico Savidge May 8, 2020 While clean air and traffic-free roads have been one of the few silver linings amid the coronavirus pandemic, there are worrying signs that the Bay Area’s fearsome congestion could come roaring back once public life resumes — and perhaps be worse than ever. That’s because many of those who once packed into crowded buses and BART trains could opt to drive whenever people begin physically returning to work in large numbers. It’s an understandable shift for virus-scarred commuters seeking the physical distance of a private car. But it presents a host of troubling consequences for a region where officials have long tried to lure people out of their automobiles: gridlocked freeways and traffic misery, increased tailpipe emissions and deteriorating air quality, financial hardship for public transportation agencies. “We are going to have lesser ridership on transit for the near future,” said Professor Frances Edwards of San Jose State’s Mineta Transportation Institute. And as a result, Edwards said, “We are going to have bad traffic.” Read the full article...
COVID-19 Impacts on Shared Mobility: On-Demand Rides Shifting to Delivery Services

COVID-19 Impacts on Shared Mobility: On-Demand Rides Shifting to Delivery Services

Image Source: Business Insider Susan Shaheen and Adam Cohen 4/26/20 Transportation Network Companies (TNCs, also known as ridehailing and ridesourcing) generate a significant percentage of their gross bookings from trips in large metropolitan areas, including trips to and from airports. For example, in 2019, Uber generated 23% of its ride gross bookings from five metropolitan areas — Chicago, London, Los Angeles, New York City, and the San Francisco Bay Area. Because the COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted operations in large metropolitan areas and demand for air travel, income for drivers and the financial performance of the for-hire ride sector are being adversely impacted. In mid-March, Uber announced that rides were down 60 to 70% in Seattle, an area impacted early by COVID-19. Vehicle miles traveled (VMT) can be used as a conservative indicator to estimate the drop in TNC demand. For the above five cities, average VMT is 37 to 50% less than it normally was for the week ending April 13, 2020 based on INRIX data. However, TNC demand has probably dropped much more due to the drop in demand to access bars/restaurants and airports. COVID-19 has caused an unprecedented decline in commercial aviation traffic. United Airlines forecasts that it will fly fewer people during the entire month of May 2020 than they did on a single day in May 2019. Traffic on U.S. carriers was down 97% year-over-year during the 7 day period ending on April 12, 2020, according to Airlines for America (A4A). Read full article...