Even though public transport is still functioning in Massachusetts, fewer people are using it now to avoid the risk of coronavirus, as reported by MBTA.
Around March 29th, passengers using the subway experienced a 90% drop compared to the last week of February and the total recorded number of “taps or ticket insertions” at 64 gated stations remained at 10,000.
During the same week of 29th March, the cases of coronavirus experienced a sharp increase as the patients grew from hundreds to thousands even though the stay-at-home advisory was in action.
“By the end of the week, the number of validations remained close to the same for three consecutive days, suggesting that indeed, travel had been minimized and was about 10 to 11% of ‘normal,’” T officials wrote. “On weekends, validations had dropped less, but were still 14 to 16% of the average comparable weekend in February.”
However, people using public transit kept decreasing. From 400,000 bus riders in the first week of March, the number came down to less than 45,000 people across the stations in the last week. “Ridership in the second half of last week remained steady at around 90,000 passenger trips per day,” T officials said.
Transportation officials said that the traffic on the highway has also reduced considerably in March and toll trips across the Massachusetts Turnpike, a tunnel system and the Tobin Bridge are less than a million right now. These two places used to be the busiest roads in the entire state but the closure of non-essential business has caused many people to stay at home.
The businesses are already in loss and MassDOT projects that if the coronavirus pandemic continues to increase at this rate even during the summers, the state could experience a $38 million loss in toll revenue from these two highways.
The condition of the economy is really poor right now but Governor Baker is doing everything in his power to enforce the stay-at-home policy as the week of an unexpected surge in the state draws closer.
The first local case of coronavirus in the state was reported on 1st February and ever since, the numbers have grown uncontrollably. Right now, there are a total of 7738 cases in Massachusetts with 122 reported deaths, according to the New York Times database.