Newswise — When New York Governor Andrew Cuomo issued a shelter-in-place executive order to limit the spread of the coronavirus in late March, only essential workers, approximately 25% of the New York City workforce, were permitted to travel. 

The impact on the city’s mobility, transportation agencies, and transit workforce was momentous. One hundred and thirty-two transit workers have died from complications of the coronavirus since then, and at least 10,000 employees became ill. Subway usage dropped from 5.5 million on an average weekday to less than 500,000 a day. Vehicle traffic fell by 84%, and pedestrian flows in the Central Business District fell by 83.5%. Tolls and fares plummeted while operating costs increased.

A new report from the NYU Rudin Center for Transportation Policy & Management, in collaboration with Sam Schwartz Engineering, looks closely at the effects of the pandemic on New York’s transportation systems during the spring of 2020. The report examines the array of current mobility modes—from subways and buses to bicycles and taxis and for-hire vehicles—as well as commuter rail and vehicular use of bridges and tunnels.

“New York City and the surrounding region face tough challenges to re-build ridership and restore faith in public transit—critical factors in any economic recovery,” according to the report, titled “Transportation During Coronavirus in New York City,” which recommends policies to foster the renewal and expansion of mobility in the coming months and years.

To interview the lead author Sarah Kaufman, adjunct assistant professor of urban planning at NYU Wagner, and associate director of the Rudin Center, please contact the NYU press officer listed with this release.