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Study: US public transportation might change following pandemic

RTC seeking comment on proposed route changes
Posted at 8:56 PM, May 05, 2020
and last updated 2020-05-06 02:39:52-04

LAS VEGAS (KTNV) — A recent study looked into how the use of public transportation in the United States might change after the COVID-19 pandemic.

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“Somebody may not want to get on a crowded bus,” says Sergio Avila, American Automobile Association of Nevada.

In Southern Nevada, you usually don’t have to look far to see an RTC bus carrying passengers around the Las Vegas valley.

Also, passenger rail is expected to return to Las Vegas soon aboard Virgin Trains USA.

RELATED: Clark County approves Virgin Trains USA plans to build train station

However, how people get around town, or across the region, may change in the coming months and years.

The study from IBM found that more than 20 percent of those who regularly hopped on a bus or train said they no longer would.

The study of 14,000 U.S. adults found that in addition to the 20 percent of people ditching public transit, another 28 percent would use it less often.

More than 17 percent of people surveyed said they intend to use their personal vehicle more as a result of COVID-19, and approximately 1 in 4 people said they will use it as their exclusive mode of transportation going forward.

The trends of transportation is something AAA of Nevada is monitoring.

RELATED: JetBlue wants to suspend service to 16 major airport hubs through September

“As people decide how they’re going to handle transportation in this new normal, the options and the availability of different mobility options is critical,” says Avila.

When it comes to ride-share options, the study found that those who used those options said they would either use less, or stop using those services completely.

AAA is working with new products to help people during the COVID-19, including Gig Car Share, which is similar to renting a car.

“You walk up to a car, unlock it, and use it for as long as you want. It charges you for the minute, the hour and the day,” says Avila.

The IBM study also found more than 25 percent of people felt that a lack of confidence in our economy will impact their decision to buy a vehicle.

Nearly the same amount said they would hold out on buying for more than six months.

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