public transport users concerned, according to a study

158 new cases and 7 deaths in Quebec

People wearing masks in the Montreal metro.

© Provided by Journal Métro
People wearing masks in the Montreal metro.

Nearly 74% of workers using public transport to get to their workplace before the coronavirus pandemic said they were “very” concerned about taking the metro, bus or train again, according to a Statistics study Canada.

These former users nonetheless indicated that they felt safe to return to their workplace, in this pan-Canadian study conducted in June.

Also, 94% of people who used public transit before the pandemic and who were not comfortable returning to their usual place of work indicated that they feared taking transport to return to their place of work.

The number of riders using public transport to get to work fell from 13% to 3%, according to data released on Monday.

Yet nearly a quarter (24%) of people who used public transit before the pandemic continued to do so in June, while 34% switched to another mode of transportation and 42% telecommuted.

Of these former users who continue to go to their place of work, about three-quarters reported using their car and one-fifth opted for walking or cycling.

The private car is still the preferred mode of transportation for Canadians (67%), up from 75% before the coronavirus pandemic.

Increase in teleworking

Before the pandemic, only one in 20 workers teleworked, or 4%.

The federal agency notes that the proportion of Canadians teleworking since the start of the pandemic has more than quintupled, to nearly 22% in June.

This would explain the decline in the use of personal cars and public transport, according to Statistics Canada.

“Transit riders are more likely to live in large census metropolitan areas, such as Toronto or Montreal, and travel downtown to work in service sector jobs for which teleworking is a viable option.” – Statistics Canada

Teleworking could however “not [être] a permanent option ”and many Canadians“ will have to decide how they get to their workplace when it reopens, ”the statistics agency said.

Canadians “very concerned” about resumption of activities

Canadians are “very concerned” about resumption of daily activities after the coronavirus pandemic, indicated a Statistics Canada study published in late July.

Take a plane, go to a concert, go to a doctor’s appointment, eat in a restaurant. These daily activities, considered normal a few months ago, now concern nearly two-thirds of the population.

Almost two-thirds of respondents said they were “very concerned” about the health risks of resuming shows, festivals, films or sporting events (66%) or air travel (64%).

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