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Public Transit & COVID-19

Old 10-04-20, 07:13 PM
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BROOKLINEBIKER
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Public Transit & COVID-19

Hi,
I'm car-lite. I mostly get around on foot or by bike. I live near a big city with decent public transit (subways, buses). I used to supplement my biking with public transit. Because of COVID-19, I haven't been on a bus or subway since March 2020. Are any of you riding mass transit? Do you feel safe? What is your sense of the risk level?
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Old 10-04-20, 07:27 PM
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This guy works on NYC public transport:

I have Sars-CoV-2,...and it sux,...
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Old 10-09-20, 03:55 PM
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Originally Posted by BROOKLINEBIKER View Post
Hi,
I'm car-lite. I mostly get around on foot or by bike. I live near a big city with decent public transit (subways, buses). I used to supplement my biking with public transit. Because of COVID-19, I haven't been on a bus or subway since March 2020. Are any of you riding mass transit? Do you feel safe? What is your sense of the risk level?
During the pandemic, I decided to completely fence myself off from public transport and switch to Cycling. It seems to me that this will help not only to protect yourself from the virus, but also to keep your body in good shape.
​​​​​​​
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Old 10-12-20, 11:04 AM
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I'm sticking to my bike for now too. The story of the NYC Metro employee is scary & sad. However, the repetitive motion of lots of cycling for transport with no break is taking a toll on my knees. winter is coming and I can't bike in black ice or in really bad snowstorms. For me, biking is not sustainable as my 100% means of transport. If COIVD continues, I may have to buy a car unless another option appears I haven't thought of. Sigh.
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Old 10-13-20, 06:21 AM
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Originally Posted by BROOKLINEBIKER View Post
Are any of you riding mass transit? Do you feel safe? What is your sense of the risk level?
Yes, twice a day.
Yes.
Low risk.
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Old 10-23-20, 09:47 AM
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The answer to your questions depends a lot on where you live. I live in Finland where the virus has been managed very well. That being said, my medium-sized city uses public transportation at a level far beyond what any American city does (I have lived near Boston, New York and LA). There are nearly as many busses on the roads as cars it seems to me-- and the busses are packed. I don't always feel safe. I am riding a bicycle as much as possible. I will be 100% on bicycle when I figure out a safe way to carry a cello on the bike.
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Old 10-24-20, 09:49 PM
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I haven't posted in months but here goes. I used to take buses, subways and light rail on a daily basis. Since March, I can count with one hand the number of times I've been on public transit. I truly miss it. ;-(

Since I'm working from home there really is no reason for me to take public transit. I guess I'm lucky since the supermarket is just across the street and anything else can be delivered via Amazon. I really have sympathy for those who have to take transit but I think the worse is over. You can't board any public transit in my city without a mask.

I can't wait for the day when we can all get back to normal. Public transit is a necessity for those who are carfree.
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Old 10-25-20, 07:07 PM
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Hi everybody,
Thanks for your responses. On my end, I'm getting to a point where I may have to lease a car through the winter months until a vaccine is out. This would be frustrating as I'm working at home and only need to go places on weekends. However, snow and ice get heavy where I live so biking distances of more than a few miles (or even a few blocks) isn't always safe or feasible. I've thought of ZipCar & Lyft but I'm concerned about having to disinfect constantly, etc.
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Old 10-25-20, 07:44 PM
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For myself, I avoided mass transit like the plague before the current troubles, so I am just going to continue in that behavior.
But, I was furloughed from work at the start of this thing so it’s not like I got anywhere to be, anyway.
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Old 10-27-20, 05:15 AM
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Originally Posted by Dahon.Steve View Post
I can't wait for the day when we can all get back to normal.
What's normal?

Do you mean back to the way things were before the pandemic? What if that never happens?

Personally I'm really hoping we don't return to the way things were before the pandemic. Things weren't good. Things improved once the pandemic moved in.
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Old 10-29-20, 10:27 PM
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Originally Posted by Machka View Post
What's normal?

Do you mean back to the way things were before the pandemic? What if that never happens?

Personally I'm really hoping we don't return to the way things were before the pandemic. Things weren't good. Things improved once the pandemic moved in.
I'm concerned it won't happen because the current vaccines offered are far from a 100% cure. Cities are looking at deep cuts into transit since ridership dropped anywhere from 50-70% where it was in the past. When this happens, we are going to see many more cars on the road. In fact, I'm starting to see this happen right now!

Last edited by Dahon.Steve; 11-24-20 at 11:42 AM.
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Old 10-31-20, 04:48 AM
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Originally Posted by Dahon.Steve View Post
I'm concerned it won't happen because the current vaccines about to offered are far from a 100% cure. Cities are looking at deep cuts into transit with since ridership dropped anywhere from 50-70% where it was in the past. When this happens, we are going to see many more cars on the road. In fact, I'm starting to see this happen right now!
During shutdown, we were seeing a lot fewer motor vehicles and a lot more cyclists and walkers.
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Old 11-12-20, 02:21 AM
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hello! Iím new here

I was furloughed from March until June. And I decided to pull my bike out of the shed when I was returning to work, as I wanted to avoid an further expense of cars and public transport if possible. I think I hadnít used it for 3 years? I live at the coast but work in a town centre (Newcastle UK). So you expect the normal things:-
  • traffic in a 10 mile journey
  • parking in town is £14 per day
  • i could park further away for free and walk

I road my bike solid for a week, loved it then I got rid of my car, there was an MOT extension scheme for 6 months in the uk so it really made sense to do so without additional cost.

now itís getting dark Iím a bit weary of it but Iím still pumped to be out cycling and in all honesty I get to and from quicker than if I took a car or public transport.

grateful to be park of such a cool community!
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Old 11-14-20, 06:30 AM
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I catch public transit when the weather is bad. It takes longer that my bike rides. One thing people fail to mention is that public transit isn't a hot spot of COVID. Not one case in my city has been linked to public transportation. Other studies has confirmed this too.

https://medical.mit.edu/covid-19-upd...transportation

https://www.livescience.com/covid19-risk-train.html

https://www.scientificamerican.com/a...rus-outbreaks/
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Old 11-14-20, 11:12 PM
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Good to know, I've actually been avoiding it these past few months.
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Old 11-16-20, 09:34 PM
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Originally Posted by BROOKLINEBIKER View Post
Hi,
I'm car-lite. I mostly get around on foot or by bike. I live near a big city with decent public transit (subways, buses). I used to supplement my biking with public transit. Because of COVID-19, I haven't been on a bus or subway since March 2020. Are any of you riding mass transit? Do you feel safe? What is your sense of the risk level?
Thanks for posting this - I've been wondering about this as well.

I stopped taking public transit 3 weeks after COVID hit. I've been lucky enough to work from home about half time, DRIVING into the office usually 2x a week. Few people are in the office now, so that means we get free parking. Driving two days a week without having to pay for parking is cheaper than my bus pass (assuming my 2002 Saturn keeps running. Hard car to replace these days!)

Driving wasn't so bad the first couple of months, but now traffic has picked up again, and I detest it. If it was just me, I might risk the extra exposure of taking the bus. But I have family in the old to elderly category I have to worry about as well. I don't want to give someone covid when I could have avoided it by driving the car that is sitting in my driveway anyway.

My physical health is still covid free. Mental health is taking a beating, but I know I'm not alone there.
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Old 11-22-20, 02:49 PM
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I'm pretty sure I got a respiratory illness on public transit in March. My last day of work I went home feeling quite ill, and didn't go back. A few days earlier I had been jammed in the corner of a subway car next to a sniffling lady who should not have been there. I was mildly ill at home for 2 weeks and have no way of knowing it if was COVID-19. I was just about to start biking when it happened.

I've been back about 10 times, by bike only. Working from home the rest of the time. Heavy snow today, so I don't know when I will go back, as I don't bike in snow and ice. I might drive in this evening for mail and to look for some papers I need.
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Old 11-22-20, 10:00 PM
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Originally Posted by cooker View Post
I'm pretty sure I got a respiratory illness on public transit in March. My last day of work I went home feeling quite ill, and didn't go back. A few days earlier I had been jammed in the corner of a subway car next to a sniffling lady who should not have been there. I was mildly ill at home for 2 weeks and have no way of knowing it if was COVID-19. I was just about to start biking when it happened.

I've been back about 10 times, by bike only. Working from home the rest of the time. Heavy snow today, so I don't know when I will go back, as I don't bike in snow and ice. I might drive in this evening for mail and to look for some papers I need.
I'm sorry to hear this. What city were you in? Are you fully recovered?
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Old 11-22-20, 10:24 PM
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Originally Posted by BROOKLINEBIKER View Post
I've thought of ZipCar & Lyft but I'm concerned about having to disinfect constantly, etc.
Something with a live driver could be an issue. But for hourly rental, I think you're misplacing the COVID concern.

Put on your mask. Open all the doors for a minute or two, and then you're going to be safer inside than in a store you go to. Yes, treat everything you touch in the car as contaminated, but that's not that hard. Keep your mask on in the car, but again, not hard. Really treating surfaces and your hands as dirty should be the norm when outside your own home anyway, and increasingly we're learning that surface contamination isn't the big driver anyway, so a little hand sanitizer and not touching your face and you should be fine.

Also while I enjoy cycling-based grocery and essentials shopping, in terms of COVID risk making one big grocery shop a week is lower risk than making smaller ones every few days. So that points to either a trailer or full pannier load out (and I've seen people with exactly that) or using the zip car to do a big shopping trip once a week (there is some unfortunate irony with the per-visit limits stores placed on many items). The once a week takes mental discipline though, I have a decent grocery store a five minute walk away so often find my way there for just a few fresh veggies to augment borrowing a car from relatives to drive to the next town over for a week's worth of basics (a wooded rail trail ride that stopped being as appealing when advancing dusk passed the dinner hour at which checkout lines shortened).

Last edited by UniChris; 11-23-20 at 10:19 AM.
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Old 11-26-20, 09:05 AM
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Originally Posted by BROOKLINEBIKER View Post
I'm sorry to hear this. What city were you in? Are you fully recovered?
Oh, thanks! That was back in March and I had a flu like illness for about 2 weeks and no way of knowing if I have already survived COVID!
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Old 11-26-20, 11:51 AM
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I think that using public transit buses or streetcars/trolleys is VERY HIGH Risk due to a relatively small enclosed space and close proximity to others plus the time Covid-19 can live on various surfaces. IF I had to use public transit I'd wear my NBC gas mask.

Cheers
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Old 11-30-20, 06:55 PM
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Originally Posted by BROOKLINEBIKER View Post
Hi everybody,
Thanks for your responses. On my end, I'm getting to a point where I may have to lease a car through the winter months until a vaccine is out. This would be frustrating as I'm working at home and only need to go places on weekends. However, snow and ice get heavy where I live so biking distances of more than a few miles (or even a few blocks) isn't always safe or feasible. I've thought of ZipCar & Lyft but I'm concerned about having to disinfect constantly, etc.
I am in Brookline. I have been on the Green Line C branch between Cleveland Circle and St Mary's several times in the last few weeks. Ridership is sparse and it has not been hard to keep one's distance from other passengers. Masks are mandatory. I have felt safe. YMMV.
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Old 12-04-20, 11:07 PM
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Originally Posted by Pobble.808 View Post
I am in Brookline. I have been on the Green Line C branch between Cleveland Circle and St Mary's several times in the last few weeks. Ridership is sparse and it has not been hard to keep one's distance from other passengers. Masks are mandatory. I have felt safe. YMMV.
That is good to know. Always nice to meet a local person!
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