In its recommendations for returning to workplaces during the COVID-19 pandemic, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said those who commute should “use forms of transportation that minimize close contact with others” such as biking, walking and driving.
It’s a recommendation many are taking to heart, according to a Cars.com survey. Of the 516 respondents of the survey, which ran from June 3-6, 2020, 67% said the coronavirus pandemic has increased their reliance on or their need for a personal vehicle.
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More than 55% of respondents said they’re actively considering buying or leasing a car, and 7% said they recently acquired a vehicle due to the pandemic. In two March 2020 surveys, Cars.com found that the pandemic led to nearly 20% of respondents to consider purchasing a car because of concerns about public transportation and the cleanliness of ride-sharing vehicles.
In the June Cars.com survey, 70% of respondents said the coronavirus has led to a reduction in commuting, and 49% reported their commute has been greatly reduced or become nonexistent.
Of the 58% who previously commuted via a public vehicle — carpool, taxi, ride-share or bus — 44% said they’ve had a reduced need and 15% reported having no need at all to commute. While 38% of the respondents said they usually rely on a bus to commute to work, 42% said they’re riding less and 15% said they aren’t riding the bus at all.
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In addition to the CDC’s new recommendations around commuting to work, when the survey respondents were asked if they trust fellow public transportation passengers to follow safety protocols to prevent the spread of COVID-19, 26% of respondents said “not at all.”
Like many of us, the survey respondents were unsure of what their commutes would look like in the near future. More than 20% of respondents expected to be back to their normal commute within the next couple of months, but 19% think it’ll be at least three months or longer before that happens. And 14% of respondents say their work commute has been permanently changed by the pandemic.
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