• Will They Ever Return?

  • General discussion of passenger rail systems not otherwise covered in the specific forums in this category, including high speed rail.
General discussion of passenger rail systems not otherwise covered in the specific forums in this category, including high speed rail.

Moderators: mtuandrew, gprimr1

  by eolesen
It may seem tangential, but I'd argue that it's sequential or consequential.

The drop in transit usage started with work from home and quarantining. That's undeniable.

Most companies were forced into figuring out the technology for remote working to balance out personal safety and business continuity.

The only real difference here as I see it is that the safety risk has changed from being viral to being criminal.

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  by lensovet
This topic, I believe, originated in the NYC metro forum. It's been moved since, but the point remains — crime or not, I'd rather not extrapolate Chicago's woes to the rest of the country.

As evidenced by the data I've provided in earlier posts, it's visible that the Bay Area, which has more of its workforce in tech, has seen even weaker recovery compared to Chicago, seemingly. OTOH, the NYC metro has rebounded decently well and might actually return to pre-pandemic levels by 2025.
  by Arlington
Will they ever return? is a forecasting problem. Forecasts of human behavior, like whether and how to commute involve understanding human choices. Ridership isn't like radioactive decay--purely a question of time and randomness, it is a question of:

- Need to go to a place ON transit, classically, the Central Business District
- When/How often the need arises
- comparison with the other mode (usually fuel, parking & time of cars...but since 2020, abundant teleworking)

and corresponding nicely...
- Where trains run (related to "need to go to a place")
- When trains run (pattern of service, unidirectional peak? clockface each way?)
- Perceptions of costs, cleanliness, safety, comfort, etc, that influence choice vs other modes

COVID made a permanent change in the value/need to be in the office, generally, and the Central Business District in particular (as the place-of-all-places, the hub of the urban wheel)

I don't know how you'd have a thread worthy of the topic without covering the ongoing way in which these changes are playing out:
- Occupancy (need to get to) in the core...was 95%...is now 50%
- Tue-Thu on-site
- Less rigid 9 to 5 (has favored switch to clockface by transit rather than AM/PM rushing)
- People relocating to "leisure" homes (mountain, lake, sunny)

If we cant talk about WHY the will or wont return--and crime in the core is a worthy topic--, this thread will just be a cemetery of facts--a random dumping ground for individual ridership clippings, or maybe a fight over the definition of "return" or "level comparison" is

https://jabberwocking.com/why-is-office ... n-so-much/
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