Revving Up: Roadside assistance firm predicts U.S. traffic could reach 130 percent of normal levels by July

Toronto, Ontario ⁠— A U.S. roadside assistance firm is predicting an uptick in traffic levels in mid-July, which could be good news for the nation’s bodyshops.

Urgently, American roadside assistance platform says its modeling predicts traffic could reach 130 percent of historical volumes in mid-July, with more than 27 percent of respondents planning to use their own cars as lockdowns are lifted and the economy restarts

The study found the majority of consumers felt personal and rented cars and “micromobility devices” such as bikes and scooters are safe, from a health perspective. Less than 40 percent trusts taxis and ride-sharing vehicles, while less than 25 percent held their trust in public transportation.

U.S. vehicular traffic was “nearly cut in half” this spring due to stay-at-home orders and had originally predicted traffic would return to February’s pre-pandemic levels on June 14, the study found. However, the company says it saw traffic return to “pre-pandemic levels” on June 7, “one week earlier than previously forecasted.”

Urgently’s study also found that 22 percent of respondents expect to use less public transportation⁠ immediately following the pandemic⁠ as their faith in the health and safety of the service dwindles.

The idea of public fear of shared transportation has been shared globally—and Canada has been no exception. According to Anne Marie Aikns, spokesperson for the Ontario regional transit provider Metrolink, which operates the heavily-travelled GO Transit Network, ridership has plunged 90 percent since widespread shutdowns took place mid-March. 

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