Commuting survey expects more solo drivers post-pandemic

Boston Statehouse

BOSTON (SHNS) – The share of Boston employees who plan to commute alone in their own cars when they return to the office has dropped since last year, though it still stands higher than the pre-pandemic baseline, officials said Tuesday.

Comparing survey responses from summer 2020 and spring 2021, city of Boston officials and leaders at the A Better City business coalition said interest in options such as public transportation and bicycling is growing even as driving alone remains popular.

In the first survey the partners ran last year, 23 percent of commuters said they typically drove alone to work before the pandemic and 38 percent said they planned to do so when they return. The second survey, conducted in the spring of this year, found a smaller rate of 28 percent planning to drive alone to the office.

“Even a relatively small increase to the number of drive-alone commuters in the city carries the promise of increased GhG and particulate emissions along with productivity-sapping congestion,” the city and business coalition wrote in a report summarizing the trends.

Interest in most other modes of transportation — except for bicycling, which 9 percent of respondents said they plan to do to get to work — lags below pre-COVID levels, the surveys found. About 27 percent of workers polled said they planned to take the subway when they return to work compared to 33 percent pre-COVID, while 14 percent intend to use the commuter rail (16 percent pre-COVID) and 9 percent anticipate taking the bus (11 percent pre-COVID). 

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Trending Stories

Donate Today