Joao Matos
Urbvan Transit
Startup Contributor

Mobility and the End of the Pandemic Era

By Joao Matos | Wed, 06/02/2021 - 13:02

After almost a year and a half since the outbreak of the pandemic in Mexico, an end to this new normality is starting to come into view. Since a high percentage of health personnel and the vulnerable population is already vaccinated, we can speculate a prompt reopening of schools and a return to offices, at least in hybrid schemes. This trend puts our ability to reactivate economic and social activities at stake, without it affecting the potential growth of contagions and the saturation of health services. Achieving this delicate balance is closely related to our capacity to reinvent ourselves. Considering that the population is more exposed to being infected during their commutes, safer mobility standards are crucial.

Before the pandemic, businesses and schools presented the largest number of daily commutes, which induced high congestion levels. Thus, the inadequate transport infrastructure caused poor mobility conditions for most of the population. Several countries France, the UK, Brazil, Colombia, among others have adopted regulations for companies to cover travel expenses and/or provide corporate transportation programs for their employees. Implementing corporate mobility strategies has proven to be a successful tool to mitigate the negative externalities resulting from commuting dynamics and the daily conditions of the affected groups.

In previous articles, I have mentioned that public and private institutions share a great deal of responsibility in keeping their employees and customers safe, therefore promoting an economic reactivation. Considering we are at a critical stage of the pandemic, both types of institutions should be committed to putting the country back on its feet and keeping the population safe.  We still have time to eliminate everything we do not want to fall back on and maintain the good aspects of our social dynamics from pre-pandemic times and the new normality.

The reopening of schools and the return to offices will undoubtedly increase congestion levels in most cities and re-introduce complex social and environmental consequences. Citizens who own a private car will reinforce their choice of transportation for health reasons; and those who can afford it, will acquire one. To prevent greater congestion rates in our cities and deterioration of citizens' travel experiences, there is a pressing need to replace private vehicle travel with public and shared modes of transportation. Considering that commuting rates will continue to rise, it is important for the institutions and companies to offer safe and comfortable modes of transportation that will then allow the reopening of activities while preventing a rebound in contagions.

Here at Urbvan, we have come up with an intelligent design for a shared transportation network that aims to support this new reality in its different ways of getting around. Whether it is through personal transportation, shared transportation within the city or even through long-distance trips between cities, Urbvan will be there for all users

Photo by:   Joao Matos