Photo via Miami-Dade Transit

Photo via Miami-Dade Transit

Moovit unveiled its 2020 Global Public Transport Report, consisting of big data analyzed from tens of millions of trip requests, together with user research in 104 metropolitan areas across 28 countries. The results portray a fascinating picture of global transit trends, comparing 2019 and 2020 — how people move around their cities, the impact of COVID-19 on public transportation use, and riders’ increased demand for mobile payment.

At the lowest point in 2020, some cities in the U.S., the country with the most COVID-19 cases in the world, experienced more than an 80% drop in public transportation ridership.

In the U.S., data was analyzed in the Boston, Chicago, Los Angeles, Miami, New York-New Jersey, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, San Francisco, Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue, and Washington, DC-Baltimore metropolitan areas.

Report metrics include the duration of a one-way public transit commute, wait time at stops/stations, walking distance as part of a one-way commute, number of transfers, total trip distance, what public transit riders said would encourage more ridership, and micromobility (bike and scooter) usage frequency, why it’s used, and barriers to adoption. The 2020 report includes two new categories: mobile payment demand for transit and COVID-19 impact on public transit usage.

The data revealed in the 2020 Global Public Transport Report indicates that public and shared transportation riders are open to new transit options that are considered safe and convenient, such as future robotaxi services. To fulfil their shared Mobility-as a-Service (MaaS) vision, Mobileye, a leader in autonomous vehicle technology and Moovit’s sister company, plans to harness Moovit’s mobility behavioral insight to offer autonomous MaaS in key markets globally. Together, Moovit’s urban mobility app used by millions, and deep understanding of mobility patterns will enable Mobileye to begin offering robotaxi services, both as a standalone and in partnership with transit operators in 2022.

Graph via Moovit

Graph via Moovit

Findings about public transit in the U.S.:

  • Due to COVID-19 and stay-at-home orders, almost 50% of Americans are using public transit less frequently or not at all, while 34% are still using it the same amount as before.
  • Twenty-one percent of San Francisco locals, in the state with the highest amount of COVID-19 cases, are no longer using public transportation.
  • It’s no surprise that 46% of Americans said they are most likely or definitely interested in mobile payment methods for a safer mass transit journey.
  • Yet again, Miamians endure the longest public transit commute times, while Pittsburgh riders have the shortest commute times.
  • Thirty percent of Los Angeles locals wait at stops and stations for more than 20 minutes for their transit lines during a one-way commute — the worst in North America.
  • The top three reasons that would encourage riders to get back on the bus during the pandemic are: social distancing, real-time bus/train arrival information, and COVID-19 disinfection of vehicles, stations, and stops.

Compared to other global cities:

  • NYC has the highest COVID-related deaths among all US cities, yet 44% are not interested in mobile payments for public transit.
  • While 54% of locals in Sao Paulo, the Brazilian city with the highest COVID-related deaths, want mobile payment for public transportation.
  • San Francisco experienced a 23% decrease in people traveling more than 7.5 miles per commute in 2020 compared to 2019, while Parisians only had a 4% decrease.
  • A quarter of New Yorkers enjoy short travel times of up to 30 minutes, but in London, 68% more people enjoy short commutes.
  • Just 5% of Spaniards in Madrid care about knowing in advance if their approaching bus is crowded, while 45% in Chicago do.
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Staff Writer

Staff Writer


Our team of enterprising editors brings years of experience covering the fleet industry. We offer a deep understanding of trends and the ever-evolving landscapes we cover in fleet, trucking, and transportation.  

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