COVID-19 has upended just about every industry. Education, healthcare, retail, restaurant, airline, and, of course, tourism need introspection. They need to be relooked at both through health, safety, and equity lenses. As destinations continue to open again for visitors, we understand that every aspect of planning a needed getaway must be reviewed. However, there are still ways that you can safely green your transport while on a post-COVID city vacation.
Public Transit Post COVID Is the Cleanest Its Ever Been!
Admittedly, public transit systems around the world will need to work hard to revive confidence from riders. People may have fears about sharing public space with others. However, many cities, like New York City, have responded. In addition to increased cleaning during overnight hours, they are leaving seats empty to allow for social distancing.
Here’s an interesting article that ranks the best and worst US cities for public transit. Even more interesting is that from a sustainable point of view, in the United States, public transport investments generate 31% more jobs per dollar than new road and bridge construction projects, ultimately supporting 430,000 jobs. So, supporting public transit supports economic recovery.
Cycling & Walking to Explore City Centers
You may have noticed that out of necessity, cycling surged during COVID-19 lockdowns. Communities across the country and around the world have begun discussing the value of a 15-minute community. The term 15-minute community means all essential tasks such as employment, groceries, restaurants, and activities can be clustered so that one is only a 15-min walk/bike ride/metro ride away. As these infrastructure investments occur, visitors can take advantage of greening their transport for a post-COVID city vacation.
Some cities, like my suburb of Washington, DC, and Oakland, CA have turned streets over to walkers and outdoor restaurant diners. Here’s a list of US cities known for their extensive walking and biking infrastructure. In addition, Milan, which is traditionally one of Europe’s most polluted and was hardest hit by the pandemic cities, recently announced plans to permanently convert over 20 miles of streets to cycling and walking pathways. City planners see these changes as a way to reset economies and encourage commerce.