Though restrictions put in place during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic are loosening in California, a recent analysis by Capital Public Radio found that travel demand in and around Sacramento is still much lower than usual. In their June 14 story on the analysis, Capital Public Radio turned to the Policy Institute’s Austin Brown for comment.
Austin observed that trips for commuting, retail, and shopping have dropped considerably. The big question, though, is how sustained the reduced travel demand will be. Once the pandemic ends, will people go back to normal…or have transportation habits changed for good?
While it’s still too soon to know for sure, Austin suggested that COVID-19 has the potential “to change the way people travel in the long term”, mitigating or even reversing the annual increases in travel growth that have been apparent for years. The result could be cleaner air and less congestion across California.
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