Apr 10, 2020 - Economy

Finding a ride for essential workers during the coronavirus outbreak

Illustration of worker in a hazmat suit riding public transportation

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Wundermobility is teaming up with the World Economic Forum and others to launch a new global mobility initiative to help essential workers get where they need to go during the coronavirus crisis. The goal is to reduce dependency on public transit, where there's potentially higher risk of infection.

Why it matters: Transportation options have been sharply curtailed during the epidemic as public transit systems reduce service and ride-hailing drivers shift to delivering food. But essential employees like health care and grocery workers still need to get to work.

  • In San Francisco, for example, transit services have been drastically scaled back. BART, which saw a 90% drop in ridership since the coronavirus outbreak hit the city, is reducing hours.
  • The city's busy subway and light rail system, Muni Metro, has been shut down indefinitely, and all bus lines except the 17 busiest have been closed, per the San Francisco Chronicle.

What's happening: #WeAllMove pulls all the available options together in a free, one-stop digital tool that givers these workers and hospitals a better view of the mobility landscape so they can connect with local providers that are still up and running.

  • For now, it features 22 operators in more than 15 countries, offering discounts and free rides in some cases.

What to watch: The service was aggregated to deal with a short-term transportation crisis, but it highlights the value in having a digital bird's eye view of an integrated, multi-modal transportation system.

Go deeper: Public transit's death spiral

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