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How Cities and Companies Are Trying to Adapt During the Pandemic

As mentioned in this week's previous article, the Coronavirus has caused huge complications in our society, not least for the shared mobility businesses like car rental, carpooling or even public transport. Consequently, the cities and mobility companies of the world are forced to rethink their strategies to survive this pandemic. [1,2,3,4] 

The Colombian capital of Bogotá is opening 76km of temporary bike lanes to reduce crowding on public transport and help prevent the spread of coronavirus, as well as to improve air quality [1]. Further, 22km of the new lanes have been converted by reconfiguring car lanes. The Mayor’s Office says: "The bicycle, being an individual means of transport, represents one of the most hygienic alternatives for the prevention of the virus, especially in this first preventive stage in which it is recommended to avoid close contact and crowds."

New York has also seen a surge in biking due to the COVID-19 outbreak, and The Seattle Department of Transportation is converting on-street parking spaces near restaurants to temporary loading zones to enable curbside meal pickup [1].

The “on-demand” transportation company Lyft is beginning a pilot in San Francisco, picking up meals from centralized distribution centres facilitated by government agencies to provide for seniors and low-income students. Lyft and Uber are continuing to offer their regular ride-hailing services as well, though volume is down as much as 70%. Both companies have also suspended their shared ride option [2].

Due to the current situation, Nevs is advancing their carsharing service (utilizing private cars) and is launching already now, locally in Stockholm, as an alternative to using public transportation. In the future, Nevs will add its own electric cars into the pool and even aim to add self-driving vehicles [3].

Lastly, the micromobility-company Voi is providing personal “Roll Safe” gloves with their e-scooters, as a complement to frequently disinfecting the handlebars [4].

 

Personal comments

The current situation has led to a very conscious evaluation of what types of trips that are actually needed, and when there are alternative solutions. The approach of warmer weather should hopefully have a welcome effect on the willingness to bike and walk even more, as an option to public transportation or private car use.       

 

Written by Victor Malmsten Lundgren, RISE.

 

Sources

 

1. 2020-03-18. Bogotá expands bike lanes overnight to curb coronavirus spread

2. 2020-03-22. Lyft to offer medical supply and meal delivery during coronavirus pandemic

3. 2020-03-23. Nevs startar bildelningstjänst i Sverige

4. 2020-03-21. LinkedIn Caroline Hjelm CMO Voi