Getting New York Back to Business

February 21, 2022
Daniel Leon Stern

New Yorkers, like the rest of the world, are still in the midst of an extended period of uncertainty and instability due to the pandemic.

Our NY Business Travel Barometer shows signs of strong recovery and that corporate travel is bouncing back. We estimate that business travel and ride volumes will increase to 32% by February 2022, reaching the 40% level by April 2022.

The barometer is based on HQ’s ground travel data from over 50 clients and 70 car providers from the Tri-State Area (NY, NJ, CT) and provides insight and predictions at this critical time for New York businesses and corporate travel.

So, what does this mean for ground travel? Where do ride volume levels stand compared to the pre-pandemic period? How do rides to New York airports correlate with growing confidence in air travel? What factors impacted the great increase in average ride price?  Keep reading.

Key Takeaways

  • Based on our New York Business Barometer, we were able to identify growth in ride volume levels throughout 2021.  Although Omicron reversed a year of recovery in ground travel, there is room for optimism and recovery.  We predict ride volume levels to bounce back, rising steadily in February and March, to 40% by April 2022.


Business Travel Comeback return to office


  • We witnessed a strong recovery in 2021 in rides to New York airports, growing exponentially from 1% in January 2021 to a high of 39% in November. However, Omicron impacted levels significantly with ride volume decreasing dramatically to 16% in January 2022 as the new variant spread.  We expect that by April 2022 business travel will recover to 30% with a gradual increase as we move towards spring.


Business Travel Comeback return to office



  • Employee commuter confidence and desire to return to the office rose throughout 2021 despite living with the realities of the pandemic. We predict that 35% of employees will be back in the office by the end of Q1 2022 which is reflective of continued recovery and resilience.

Business Travel Comeback return to office


  • Our insights show that employees are requesting rides outside of the traditional “late-night ride home” with morning rides rising significantly from 6% pre-pandemic to 20-40% since Q2 2020. Peaks were in line with each subsequent spike in Covid cases in the Q2 2020 to Q3 2021 period. Requests for morning rides dipped in Q2 and Q3 2021 as Covid-19 infection rates decreased, and rose again once more following the spread of Omicron.


  • This is indicative of the long-term change in commuter behavior as well as company policies as employees seek safer travel options.  We believe employers will continue with travel policies that put the employees’ health and safety first.


Business Travel Comeback return to office


  • We identified that inflation is impacting ride prices with a 28% average increase in ride price.  This price increase has been impacted by vehicle and driver shortages, and rising fuel prices, insurance rates, and premiums.

Business Travel Comeback return to office


For corporates now is the time to have a single solution to manage and handle all ground travel needs to ensure a smooth transition back to the office.  At HQ, we make safety a top priority to help protect the health and safety of all employees combined with ride reliability to ensure trust and peace of mind every step of the way.

Want to see how HQ can support your business?
Leave your info and we'll get in touch