Tuesday, December 1, 2020

COVID-19 Impacts on Mobility. Driving back to before levels. Ferries and transit below.

The COVID-19 pandemic has impacted how we travel. Before the start of the pandemic, I commuted to work in Downtown Vancouver by transit. I’ve now been working from home since mid-March.

I would also explore various parts of our region during weekends in the past. I’ve made a conscious choice to stay within Langley City now.

Instead of taking transit almost daily, I’ve taken transit about four times since mid-March. I don’t own a car, so my primary mode of getting around the 10 square kilometres of Langley City is on foot.

I took a vacation to the Okanagan and Kootenays this summer, but that has been it for travel.

When I’ve been around Langley City, I’ve certainly noticed more people walking and cycling. I’ve also seen that motor vehicle traffic has returned to pre-pandemic levels.

The Metro Vancouver Regional District has a COVID-19 Response Task Force. At their recent meeting, they looked at changing mobility patterns.

The first slide shows major bridges’ traffic volumes as of November 9. These bridge volumes are a good proxy for overall traffic volumes in the region.

Bridge Traffic Volumes. November 9, 2020. Source: BC Ministry of Transportation & Infrastructure.

BC Ferries passenger and vehicle volumes are below.

BC Ferries Volumes. November 6, 2020. Source: BC Ferries.

From news reports, transit ridership is at about 40% of pre-pandemic levels. I would expect transit levels to return to normal levels once people start going back to work in offices.

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