Public transportation for some of us was the glue that held the nation together if you were unable to drive. Need to get to the other side of the city but don’t drive? Simple, hop on the tube. Off to see your friends but it’s pouring down? Easy, jump on the bus. For some lone rangers, a taxi/uber could be outside in 5 mins. But did we take this ease of transportation for granted? Covid19 swept in and took it away from us, making what once was a simple go to journey a fearsome expedition. Public transports now require individuals to social distance and wear masks to keep themselves protected and to respect and protect those around you. But just how much did people avoid public transport?  


A survey by TomTom, published on Statistica, looked at traffic reduction in cities in general as a whole. However, it should be taken under consideration that during lockdowns individuals were unable to catch transport/or drive even if they desired, which may therefore affect results. The survey compared traffic volume in the week commencing March 30th to the week of January 20th 2020 and noted the decrease in mobility patterns in major cities.


The top cities recorded to have had the biggest traffic volume reduction was  Milan, Italy, which saw a 84.78% decrease, Paris in France which witnessed a 84.1% reduction and finally Rome in Italy which was down 83.8% with Madrid, Spain, ever so slightly below at 83.27%.

The middle categories of cities were:

  • Barcelona, Spain: 81.04% 
  • Manchester, UK: 75.65% 
  • Lisbon, Portugal: 75.54%
  • Lyon, France: 73.66%
  • Boston, USA: 73.4% 
  • Birmingham, UK: 71.89%
  • London, UK: 71.37% 


The final three cities towards the end of the list which saw the least reduction in comparison to the other cities were Sao Paulo, Brazil, which saw a 70.17% decrease in traffic volume, New York in the USA at 69.96% and finally Moscow, Russia at 65.44%. 


On March 13th – 16th 2020, 1,986 US survey respondents were asked: 

“If coronavirus were to spread to your community, would you be more or less likely to use public transport?”



57% stated that they would be much less likely to use public transport if the virus spread to their community, however, just under 20% of participants remained neutral and a further 9% stated they don’t know/ have no opinion. 

We’d love to hear your thoughts – do you still choose to use public transport? If so, have you noticed a decrease of transport users in your city? 


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