Life During Quarantine 11: Planes, Trains, and Automobiles

As another week went by, I realized there was something I did not discuss in my life during quarantine: transportation. The world rolled to a stop back in March and with various degrees of quarantine, the pandemic has affected our daily lives. From not being able to drive anywhere, uber, trucks, motorcycles and public transportation, and planes, trains, and automobiles have been drastically changed. I thought I would see what was said early on and the reality of now.

This is from something I read back in March.” When disaster strikes, our lives stop their normal rhythm and are forced to follow a new temporary norm. In the case of the Coronavirus pandemic, social isolation is seen as the solution to qual the outbreak. The next disaster, whatever it may be, pandemic or climate change, our mobility system needs to be agile enough to adjust to the change while guaranteeing public safety and the continuous movement of people and goods. If this pandemic will teach us anything it is that our urban mobility system will play a huge role in determining whether we prevent future emergency scenarios, like pressing climate change impacts. These learnings can lead to essential best-practices to ensure our mobility system remains sustainable and resilient.”

  • In the wake the coronavirus outbreak, we’ve learned transportation ecosystems aren’t either “publicly” or “privately” owned.
  • Transportation systems must adapt quickly.
  • A holistic view of our transportation system can ensure we maintain our resiliency.
  • Digitisation and connectivity will be key to enabling a seamless mobility system moving forward.

This was some thoughts when we think of public transportation:” It was absolutely normal to stand shoulder-to-shoulder in a packed Metro train or hop on a shared bike or scooter. But in a world changed by the coronavirus pandemic, those situations may cause anxiety for many. Transportation officials are already seeing dramatic changes during the pandemic — some of which they called for, like reduced ridership on public transit. Metro says rail ridership is down 95%, while Virginia’s Department of Transportation reports a 40-60% traffic reduction on its highways.

When we look at the big picture, so much of our goods and services are provided by transportation. The pandemic changed many things: not easy to sign up to be a Uber of Lyft driver (an office in my work complex closed). Things like the flooring industry where the demand is high because people are at home, but the trucks my not deliver at full capacity.

“One of the biggest impacts has been the reduction in passenger transport demand, due to a combination of government lockdowns and fears of contracting and spreading the virus when using mass transport modes. While freight transport has also been reduced, the drivers of freight activity during the current crisis are complex, driven by both supply- and demand-side factors, and in the latter, by the need to keep essential services operating. In contrast, passenger transport, (for both leisure and business travel) is often optional, and more influenced by people’s decision-making processes”.

The fact being that so many travel restrictions have happened and though this has been happening from the start, the global interaction we had before Covid will for sure take some time to build back to. We Are Unlikely to See a Return to 2019 Passenger Volumes Before 2023-2024Revenues Will Take Even Longer to Recover.

If you haven’t realized all the food, goods, and even medical equipment gets moved.  I read this survey data and was a bit surprised. In a 2020 survey, 57 percent of people surveyed in the U.S. revealed that they would much less likely take a subway or public train after coronavirus were to affect their community. In that same survey, 54 percent of respondents in the U.S. stated that they would much less likely use ride-hailing service like Uber, Lyft or taxi, if COVID-19 were to spread in their trucks. When you can see and understand that concept you will understand what we are up against.

“Over the past few months, trucking has come face-to-face with the volatile economic behavior of businesses, consumers, and their suppliers, inevitably trickling down into transportation fleets worldwide. The true impact on commercial transportation has been felt from the onset of the pandemic; however, the gravity of that impact manifests itself between borders and even on a local level. This article provides a general overview of the changes that have occurred in light of the recent health crisis, and the continued efforts the trucking industry is implementing to respond appropriately.”

The COVID-19 pandemic has had a swift and severe impact on the globally integrated automotive industry. Symptoms include a disruption in Chinese parts exports, large scale manufacturing interruptions across Europe, and the closure of assembly plants in the United States. This is placing intense pressure on an industry already coping with a downshift in global demand, and likely leading to increased merger & acquisition activity.

  • Potential long-term impact scenarios on automotive companies
  • Questions executives and boards should be asking
  • Practical next steps to take to preserve business continuity

So, if you are considering to be critical of anyone in the industry, just realize the nature of the pandemic, world safety, and the general community.

I ask you all to travel safely, be kind to your drivers and send out a note of thanks to your drivers!


Cynthia Kosciuczyk, MBA
Cynthia Kosciuczyk, MBA
I took the less-traveled roads which led to many careers. Each of these contributed to my unique mix of expertise: science research, teaching, food, art, and textiles. Owning and operating my own businesses (a bakery, a gallery, and a consulting business) thrust me into the driver seat of learning many diverse roles from customer service to public relations and resulted in my unique management style. Participating in the creation of startups, working in design, and my own businesses and technology endeavors. My quest for knowledge and seeking out the best has turned me into a networking enthusiast. A lifelong passion for textiles and Persian rugs taught me an array of professional skills such as research, writing, and community events. Networking resulted in a multitude of business opportunities. My experiences include Management, Entrepreneurship, Sales, Design, Descriptive Writing, Business Strategy, Color, and Textiles. Every facet of my work and life comes together like pieces of a puzzle. I strive to be a phenomenal networker and problem solver who continues to learn and grow.

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