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Transit Woes

Major cities have been slow to recover after public transit usage dropped 75% amid COVID-19,…

  • August 9, 2020

Major cities have been slow to recover after public transit usage dropped 75% amid COVID-19, according to a study from personal finance website ValuePenguin.com.

For those who depend on public transit, severe drops in ridership can be detrimental. With fewer riders comes limited scheduling and days where public transit may not run at all.

For the busy metropolises on our list, that could mean fewer people are able to get out to grocery stores or medical facilities.

ValuePenguin examined bus, subway, and train ridership in the top 10 major cities across the country, and even as major cities like New York City and Seattle open up, transit usage has recovered more slowly in those cities than in others.

Key findings: 

Transit usage plummeted 75% nationwide in March, and only reached 49% of pre-coronavirus usage rates as of July 1.

Cities hit with earlier COVID-19 outbreaks have had bigger drops and slower recoveries than those cities hit later.

Transit usage is recovering more slowly than other modes of transport: Walking and driving are both well over 100% of pre-coronavirus levels nationwide, though not all cities are recovering at equal rates.

Cities ranked by biggest drops in transit ridership post-coronavirus:

  1. Seattle
  2. New York City
  3. San Francisco – Bay Area
  4. Washington DC
  5. Boston
  6. Chicago
  7. Los Angeles
  8. Philadelphia
  9. Denver
  10. Atlanta

To view the full report, visit: https://www.valuepenguin.com/2020/07/transit-usage-drop-during-covid-19