Since so many people are now working from home, large transport infrastructures in are no longer in the same kind of usage. This can be seen very clearly in New York City and has led to three of the busiest commuter railroads (the Long Island Rail Road, Metro-North Railroad and N.J. Transit) in the country having to adapt to something altogether new.
Some of the changes include: substantially less time in operation, reduced services, a drop in the price of fares and new kinds of tickets being offered. While this is a good response to the decreased demand in commuter travel, the problem of how to bolster revenue given the losses incurred in the pandemic remain. Plus, given the fact that it is looking more likely that commuters will not be returning to a 5-day a week in-house work week, the struggle will continue. Washington’s Eno Center for Transportation president Robert Puentes pointed out:
“The commuter railroads have been really hammered during the pandemic. It’s hard to overstate the transformations that are happening because of this pandemic.”
So what will be the future of transport? Perhaps e-scooters are the answer? Lime is now working with the scooter sharing pilot program from NYC DOT and will be operating 1,000 e-scooters in NYC. The program is putting a lot of emphasis on affordability, safety and sustainability. This will hopefully provide a much easier way of transporting people around the city.
Users will access their scooters via the Lime app, scanning the scooter’s QR code to begin a ride. To end the ride they take a picture of the scooter showing it is parked properly. The fastest they go is 15mph but new users will have to go at 10mph for their first three rides as they get used to it.
Wayne Ting, CEO of Lime said:
“Lime is honored and grateful to once again serve New Yorkers, and we’re excited to get rolling with shared electric scooters in the East Bronx. Today is the culmination of years of community outreach, establishing trust and building meaningful relationships to finally bring a shared scooter programme to New York City, and we look forward to continuing to earn the trust of all New Yorkers over the coming months and years. Our scooters will provide East Bronx residents and visitors with safe, affordable and accessible transportation to get around their neighbourhoods, all while reducing congestion and connecting people to public transit. We’re laser-focused on operating a safe and equitable micromobility programme in the greatest city in the world, as we hope to demonstrate to cities globally the tremendous benefits of shared electric vehicles in revolutionising transportation.”