Image credits: Thibault Penin
News Article

Waze Helps Cities Identify Rising Mobility Trends

By Jorge Ramos Zwanziger | Mon, 04/12/2021 - 13:43

Since the beginning of the pandemic, Waze has made mobility information available to the general public. “We are making our Waze COVID-19 Impact Dashboard externally available so governments, academics and the interested public can gain more insight into local driving trends as part of their overall COVID-19 response and recovery efforts,” reads Waze’s website.

Mexico City has undergone many ups and downs in terms of mobility, according to Waze’s Dashboard. When the city went through its first lockdown due to the pandemic, mobility fell by a whopping 81 percent, reads Waze's website, as users increased their precautions against the virus. This is the biggest decrease the company has registered since the start of the outbreak.

With vaccination rates slowly ramping up throughout the country, lockdown restrictions are beginning to loosen. Health personnel and adults over the age of 60 are steadily being vaccinated and contagion rates remain stable in Mexico City. Hospital occupancy has also remained stable at 30 percent and the rate of positive COVID-19 tests remains around 10 percent, as reported by El Economista. “Although there is less traffic now, do not be fooled. Traffic will return,” said Anasofía Sánchez, Director General at Waze LATAM, at MBN’s MAS2021.

“To this date we have seen an 80 percent recovery in traffic from its lowest point and we estimate that we are still 20 percent below pre-pandemic levels,” she said in December when Mexico City went through its second confinement as authorities feared an increase in cases during the Mexican holidays. During that period, Mexico City registered a 68 percent decrease in mobility when compared to levels before the pandemic. While significant, the drop in mobility was not comparable to the one that happened during the previous confinement, explained Sánchez. 

Since December, however, the city has slowly increased mobility levels and by Apr. 5, 2021, it was only 28 percent smaller in comparison to pre-pandemic levels. Mexico City will remain orange in Mexico’s COVID-19 traffic light system, due to the possibility of a spring break spike. As a result, the impact on mobility is still to be seen.

The data used in this article was sourced from:  
MBN, El Economista, Waze
Photo by:   Thibault Penin, Unsplash
Jorge Ramos Zwanziger Jorge Ramos Zwanziger Junior Journalist and Industry Analyst