Sustainable mobility experts reflect on what commuting will be like after the COVID-19 pandemic, and how will it affect the environment via multimodal transportation.
The reduction of mobility due to COVID-19 has jump-started the conversation on how to improve to the environment through sustainable mobility – not only through Zero Emission transportation, but also by decreasing disease transmission for commuters.
In 2020, both London and Madrid subways experienced a drop in commutes by 60% and 40% respectively. Paris’ public transport is experiencing a similar situation, though its Director, Sylvie Charles, stated that the “new normal” is here to stay.
Sustainable mobility experts suggest that we need to reinforce pre-pandemic schemes such as:
- Shared Mobility
“What is shared mobility? Shared mobility is everything you can ride on that doesn’t belong to you. Bike- and scooter– sharing programs, as well as carpooling, are all good examples,” says Gil Laser, CEO of GoTo, a multimodal vehicle sharing service that allows users to switch between electric cars, bikes, and scooters with just one app.
- Ditching the company car
Most companies had to reassess their employees’ and associates’ mobility budgets because of the prevalence home office. Again, Laser stated, “We’ve already seen lots of employees return company cars and ask for higher salaries.” The alternative is to invest in custom schemes via apps such as Uber or Lyft instead of adding company cars for employees.
- Electrifying the commute
Dr. Wolfgang Ketter, of the Institute of Energy Economics at the University of Cologne says, says that the industry got the chance to switch to clean energy due to the rise of EV sales in 2020-2021. “The more solar and wind power we have feeding into our energy grids, the more electricity ‘demand flexibility’ we need to compensate for variations in supply. Electric mobility offers the flexibility we will need to keep grids balanced.”
Electromobility is the chosen way for crowded public transport systems such as Mexico City’s Electric Metrobús.
Sustainable mobility in a post COVID-19 world means approaching all essential commuting via shared mobility, multimodal transport, and electromobility. There’s a call to action to take into consideration our own health and caring for the environment.