COVID-19: 4 trends that will impact public transportation in emerging markets

COVID-19 is having an enormous impact on every aspect of our lives, including public transport. In most emerging markets such as Sub-saharan Africa and Latin America where public transport is an integral part of the lives of billions of people, commuters frequently experience poor quality services with often overcrowded and over-aged buses and stations.

The pandemic is shaping commuter behaviour and the following trends would define the future of mass transport operations in these regions.


People have become hygiene-focused

People have become hygiene-focused as a result of COVID-19

People have become hyper hygiene-focused and as a result, are shying away from using informal public transport services. The operations of informal public transport rely on over-aged, overcrowded and unhygienic buses and stations, exposing commuters to various health risks.


People are becoming financially sensitive

This man is feeling concerned about money

People are becoming financially sensitive due to loss of jobs or potential loss of jobs. This would lead them to opt for affordable commute options instead of driving themselves or hailing a cab.


Companies want to protect their workforce

companies want to protect their employees from Coronavirus

There’s an increasing demand for safer transportation services by companies who want to protect their workforce from the virus.


Informal public transport is not fit for purpose

new public transport in emerging markets

COVID-19 has exposed the inadequacies of informal public transport operations. In Ghana, it was so bad health workers had no reliable means of getting to work and back home.
Stakeholders and governments all over the world have begun calling for alternative transit services that are fit for purpose and reliable.

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