District News

NYC Travel Inbound Pandemic Projections Study

Oct 19, 2021
traffic in manhattan

A recent study found that COVID-related travel changes and the implementation of congestion pricing in Manhattan south and inclusive of 60th Street will result in a net drop in travel into the central business district (CDB). The study, released by Sam Schwartz and Clarion Research, surveyed respondents from New York, New Jersey and Connecticut on their typical weekday travel patterns to the CBD before the pandemic, during the pandemic, and how they expect to travel after the pandemic. Their findings indicated that regular weekday travel into the CBD is projected to decline by 8% by 2023.

The findings of the study indicate that decreases in overall CBD travel are due mostly to the increase in working from home. They also noted that some people expressed greater fear for their safety on public transit than they did prior to the pandemic. Additionally, they note that though travel into the CBD has decreased, this does not necessarily indicate that the City’s workforce has decreased. Of those surveyed, 80% believed that they will be working remotely more than they did in 2019.

COVID-19 and remote work have significantly shifted travel patterns since 2019. In 2019, 73% of trips into the CBD were made via public transit. Currently, only 56% of trips into the CBD are made via public transit and system-wide ridership has rebounded by approximately 50%. During the pandemic, many people switched to driving, biking, and walking. According to the study, some of these people may not switch back to commuting via public transit.

For more information, read the report here. For more information on congestion pricing, visit the MTA’s project page.

Photo credit: Curbed