I’m preparing the May issue of Parking Today and have come across an article we will be featuring. “The New Commute: Looking at Tomorrow’s Mass Transit, Today.” The headline is misleading. The title should be: “The Recovery of the Parking Industry May be Faster than you Think.” You can read the entire article on parknews.biz here.
The article notes that ridership on mass transit is way down due to the pandemic. People just aren’t taking trains and buses like they were in the past. Sure, part of this is due to the ‘stay at home’ requirements, but also it is due to the fact that people understand that there is no place better to become exposed to the virus than in a bus or train. And that fear will remain, even after the travel restrictions have lifted.
If the financial hardship faced by public transportation providers results in scaled-back operations, it’s imperative that commuters still be able to get to work and back simply and safely. Many prognosticators are predicting that in the wake of the pandemic, more people will take to personal vehicle use and commute in their own vehicles.
Predictions are informed guesses at this point, and there are no guarantees. Yet the statistical trends are hard to ignore, and there is little doubt that communities nationwide would be well served to brace themselves for a new commuter reality. Simply put: It’s time to prepare.
If commuters react to this event as they have in the past, we will see an uptick in the use of privately owned vehicles. And guess what, there will be a need to find a place to park them when the driver arrives at her destination. Seems like this will be a good thing for parking. A shot in the arm that we will sorely need.
The article points out that now is the time to prepare for that influx of new customers. Clean up our garages, get out the brooms and paint. Replace those outdated lighting systems, clean and seal those leaky floors, upgrade those outdated entry systems. Make your garage as welcoming as possible. We want to keep those customers coming back.
This isn’t going to last forever, and my guess its going to be over sooner rather than later.