Apr 17, 2020 - Energy & Environment

The post-pandemic landscape may favor cars

Ben Geman, author of Generate

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Early evidence suggests public transit will struggle to recover from the pandemic, according to Bloomberg's Nathaniel Bullard.

Driving the news: He looks at data in post-lockdown traffic in China and finds that by early March it was above the levels from a year earlier.

  • "When we exit our however-long-it-will-be of weekdays that feel like Sundays, people will start moving again. China’s example suggests that personal car traffic will more than rebound — and that public transit will not," he writes.

Why it matters: It's an early data point in what will be a complicated question going forward, which is how the coronavirus crisis may affect long-term oil and electricity use — and what it means for carbon emissions.

But, but, but: Some analysts believe that what's now enforced behavior that cuts oil demand — notably working from home and avoiding flying — could stick around to some extent when the pandemic ends.

Go deeper:

Go deeper

Cities are retooling public transit to lure riders back

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

After being told for months to stay away from others, the idea of being shoulder to shoulder again in a bus or subway terrifies many people, requiring sweeping changes to public transit systems for the COVID-19 era.

Why it matters: Cities can't come close to resuming normal economic activity until large numbers of people feel comfortable using public transportation.

The policies that could help fix policing

 Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

George Floyd's death has reignited the long and frustrating push to reform a law enforcement system whose systemic flaws have been visible for years.

Why it matters: Solving these problems will require deep political, structural and cultural changes, experts and advocates say — but they also point to a handful of specific policy changes that, while not a cure, would make a difference.

42 mins ago - Health

Coronavirus diagnostic test pricing is relatively tame

A medical professional administers a coronavirus test at a drive-thru testing site run by George Washington University Hospital in Washington, D.C. Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

Anecdotes of labs charging thousands of dollars for coronavirus diagnostic tests are the exception rather than the rule, according to data provided to Axios by a national health insurer.

Yes, but: Some labs that don’t contract with the insurer charged rates that are multiple times higher than what Medicare pays for the diagnostic tests, and in some scenarios, patients may be at risk of receiving surprise bills.