New Delhi: Amid the global wave of COVID-19 in the past nine months, India saw the highest drop in work, social and household travels. This was said by survey consultancy firm EY. It said the survey was carried out in nine countries including China and the US. It revealed the disruptive changes brought about by the pandemic COVID-19 in the patterns of mobility across the world.
The changing mobility pattern raised pertinent questions about the nature and shape of cities and transport networks.
“Amid this health crisis, the consumer is heavily conflicted over mobility. Not having to commute to work has given many a new sense of autonomy. They also are managing to save a few hours of their time back every day,” EY said in a statement.
As far as India is concerned, the survey found that the country ‘witnessed the highest drop in work travel of nearly 69 per cent. It was followed by social travel that declined by 59 per cent and household travel that fell by 58 per cent’.
“The drops are substantial, as India is the world’s biggest democracy with a population of 138 crore. It parallels the levels of work-related decline of 70 per cent in a small country of Sweden with a population of only a crore,” the consultancy firm added.
EY said the decline can be attributed to the strict lockdown measures in India to control the pandemic. It has resulted in steep declines across travel segments. “The survey results also indicate an overall reduction in average weekly travel time by 40 per cent from six hours to 3.7 hours per person,” it added.
EY India Partner and Automotive Sector Leader Vinay Raghunath said, “The change in mobility industry dynamics and consumer behaviour will push sector stakeholders to think through new operating models that leverage digital platforms and help ride the next wave of mobility growth.”
EY had conducted a survey, as part of the Mobility Consumer Index, this month. They interviewed 3,300 consumers across nine countries. Among them were India, China, the US and the UK. The survey was done to explore the impact of COVID-19 on consumer attitudes and behaviour towards mobility. Five hundred respondents from India participated in the survey.
Of the nine countries surveyed, EY said India and Singapore have witnessed the maximum decline in average weekly commute time.
“India felt the steepest decline of more than five hours, from 81 per cent to just 27 per cent. In Singapore, it fell from 61 per cent to 19 per cent,” it said.
EY added that a long-term decline in commuting time could mean a lower peak demand and less strain on public transport systems and road networks.
It also said, “This profuse reduction in use of public transport and road networks brings forth a challenging situation for the trains, buses and subway operators that find it difficult to generate enough revenue to meet their operational costs.”