Road traffic almost back to pre-COVID levels as commuters shun public transport | Sydney Morning Herald

Andrew Taylor wrote a comprehensive review of the data on Traffic and Transit use in Sydney for the Sydney Morning Herald in Road traffic almost back to pre-COVID levels as commuters shun public transport. My quotes below:

Professor of transport engineering at the University of Sydney David Levinson said the nature of public transport usage meant it was affected by lockdown more than other modes.

“There is a lot less travel to work for office workers – especially CBD-based office workers – which hits trains pretty hard, since the rail network radiates from the Sydney CBD,” he said. …

The lack of tourists and students had also reduced travel compared to previous years, Professor Levinson said. “I don’t think congestion will go all the way back to normal as restrictions ease, the rise in working from home and deliveries in lieu of shopping and eating out will be at least somewhat irreversible.” ….

Professor Levinson said the COVID-19 crisis would have long-term effects on peak-hour traffic as well as public transport usage.

He also said road and rail projects not already under construction should be reconsidered: “The extent to which travel demand changes (like working from home) are permanent should change where the most important investments are.”

Professor Levinson said a shift towards working from home would encourage more people to live further from the inner-city “and probably favour the auto over public transport, as autos provide greater flexibility, and can reach places that frequent public transport cannot”.

Commuters continue to shun public transport, with Opal data showing patronage down more than 40 per cent on pre-COVID levels. CREDIT:SAM MOOY [Sydney Morning Herald]