Covid-19 Caused Mass Transit Use to “Plummet by 80%” or More

(p. D1) Fears of being exposed to germs in cramped underground spaces have reportedly caused mass transit ridership to plummet by 80% in urban centers such as Milan and San Francisco—and by up to 96% in hot spots including New York, Washington, D.C., and Paris. When they head back to their corner offices, car-shunning members of the C-suite set might be more likely to commute in prudent solitude on electric bikes than to trudge up subway steps.

“No one wants to be in a dirty cab. We don’t want to be on a bus or subway. People want their own mode of transportation that they control,” said Michael Burtov, author of “The Evergreen Startup.” Mr. Burtov, who works with entrepreneurs as part of MIT’s Enterprise Forum, also noted a severe dip in usage of shared bikes and scooters; who yearns to spend an afternoon wiping down handlebars or riding in gloves? “For individualized modes of transportation, which are affordable and really efficient, it’s a renaissance.”

To wit, Seattle’s Rad Power Bikes recently announced that sales had leapt nearly 300% this April compared with the same period in 2019. Its Dutch competitor VanMoof claimed a similar growth of 264% for the first half of 2020 compared with the same six months last year.

For the full story, see:

Matthew Kitchen. “Wanted: A Safer Commute.” The Wall Street Journal (Saturday, June 27, 2020): D1.

(Note: the online version of the story has the same date as the print version, and has the title “Wary of Subways? 6 Electric Options for a Solo Work Commute.”)

The book by Burtov, mentioned above, is:

Burtov, Michael. The Evergreen Startup: The Entrepreneur’s Playbook for Everything from Venture Capital to Equity Crowdfunding. Hypercritical Publishing, 2020.

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