What is the future of commuting to work?
Do you commute to work? You’re not alone! In 2019 before the global pandemic, 5% of the labor force, or approximately 8 million Americans, used public transportation to get to work. Of these, a majority of workers drive. Others take public transport, while a much smaller percentage prefer to walk or bike.
And as more employers adopt a hybrid work model with flexible working from home schedules, more and more people will hop on board whether in the form of corporate shuttles, public transportation, or even, cycling to work.
So, how might commuting be different in the future?
The commute itself will become faster, personalized, flexible, and more employee-friendly and sustainable. In larger cities, corporate shuttle services with easy-to-use passenger apps will become increasingly more present.
Read on as we take a look at the future of commuting in the post-pandemic world.
Today, an increase in bicycle commuting is evident in major cities in the US. Buildings are making it safer and more accessible for cyclists to enjoy an unimpeded commute.
This means employers around the country will increasingly look for spaces serviced connected to bicycle networks. In ten years, most of the American workforce will likely embrace walkability and bicycling.
Additionally, proximity to residential areas and other amenities will become critical when choosing a workplace location.
Did we mention the health benefits too? A 2016 study from Lancet found that cyclists tend to be slimmer and more likely to live longer than their car-driving counterparts. As part of the exhaustive study, scientists pored over the biological data of more than 150,000 people and studied the health of half a million others aged between 40 and 69.
Lancet’s findings showed that men who cycle weigh an average of 5kg (11lbs) less than their driving counterparts, while the average woman cyclist weighed 4.4kg (10lbs) less. The cycling commuter has a lower body fat percentage and body mass index in middle age compared with car drivers. Cycling to work was associated with reduced all-cause mortality, cardiovascular disease mortality, cancer mortality, and cancer incidence.
It’s not hard to see why this might be the case. A gentle cycle at just 9mph will see you burn around 400 calories in an hour, and if you cycle at a zippier 14mph you will shed 700 calories. By cycling regularly, you will improve your aerobic fitness, lower the risk of heart disease and stroke, and lower your blood pressure and your cholesterol, while boosting your energy levels.
In recent years, scooters have been popular among children and adults. The trend has slowly shifted to employees, owing to the many benefits that scooters bring.
For employees, these devices can be used daily when going to and from work. Scooters are considered better than bicycles for various reasons.
- They are cheaper than bicycles
- They don’t need parking space
- They can easily be carried
- They are convenient and easy to maneuver
- They are fun to ride
Owning to their convenience and ease of use, scooters will continue to be many people’s favorites. And the future for scooters looks so promising.
Companies such as Lime, Bird, and Spin have revolutionized the basic scooter to something more fun and futuristic. Today, electric scooters are growing in popularity and dominating the roads. Ideal for young professionals who live and work in urban environments, these scooters are defining a new era for commuters.
Zipping to town on a low-speed, emission-free scooter has become the norm in major urban centers, and this trend is likely to continue in the future.
New research from the University of East Anglia in the UK has found that an active commute may be as important to well-being as marriage or salary raise. Sure, driving is more convenient than walking. But walking is beneficial to your mental and overall well-being.
As such, walking will always take precedence over other commuting options, no matter the level of technology advancements that come with other commute options.
In one study conducted by researchers at McGill University, it was found that commuters who walk are the happiest. Combined with the health benefits of walking, it’s easy to see why commuting will always rule supreme.
Plus, if more people choose to walk as a means of transportation, it can reduce air pollution, cut transportation costs, and lower rates of cancer and other pollution-related diseases. However, walking has its limitations as it’s only ideal where the commute distance is short.
Micro mobility is a type of commute technology designed for individual use. Vendors in the micro-mobility sector capitalize on urban transportation.
Typical examples of micro-mobility technology include:
- Electric scooters
- Electric water bikes
- Electric skateboards
In 2020, the size of the micro-mobility industry was estimated at $40 billion.
As more employees and students hop on the micro-mobility bandwagon in lieu of public transport, the industry will continue to grow at an exponential rate. It’s estimated that the micro-mobility industry will grow at a CAGR of 17% from 2022 to 2030 to reach $198.03 bn.
This means that more and more people will continue to use micro-mobility technology, and this trend will only grow in the future.
The onset of COVID-19 brought many changes that will continue to be felt even as the pandemic abates. The lockdowns and stay-at-home policies made it difficult for employees and the general public alike to use public transportation.
Moreover, the social distancing measures barred most people from using public transport to minimize the spread of the virus.
As a result, corporate shuttle services began to rise in popularity, and their impact continues to be felt today. In fact, many commercial real estate properties are offering last-mile and door-to-door shuttle services to their tenants which positions them as competitive and caring.
In April 2022, RXR Realty, the real estate owner, manager, and developer located in New York City partnered with us to provide Starrett-Lehigh office tenants with an efficient shuttle service. As part of this partnership, our HQ Corporate Shuttles provide a seamless last-mile solution from major transit hubs, with stops at 14th Street & 8th Avenue near A, C, E, and L train lines and 23rd Street & 8th Avenue near C and E train lines, Port Authority and Penn Station to their Starrett-Lehigh Building in West Chelsea. Our shuttle service for RXR is fully customizable, providing tenants with a relaxing ride to the iconic Starrett-Lehigh building five days a week.
Why Consider HQ Travel Services?
HQ Corporate Shuttles offer a safe, secure and sustainable way for you to replace the stress and frustration associated with public transportation with a regular and reliable means of transport. Not to mention, the positive benefits of having fewer single cars driving to the same destination and the reduction in air pollution, congestion, and parking pressure.
Since it’s your own private shuttle, you’ve full control over everything from seating capacity, contact tracing, and route planning with our safety protocols from the first stop to the final destination. Whether you’re aiming to get your workers to your hard-to-find-to site easily or reduce their reliance on taking the bus or train, HQ shuttles can help.
Plus, our health and safety protocols and contact tracing ensure employees get to work safely while giving you full control over passenger capacity, seat spacing, and route planning.
Providing reliable rides to work can improve employee retention while showing prospective talent an employee benefit that will make their life that much easier. Not to mention USB charging ports and Wi-Fi for a more relaxing and productive journey.
COVID-19 brought in a paradigm shift to the way we work and travel. As companies adopt flexible hybrid working models and technology continues to advance, what does the future of commuting look like? Judging by what we’ve seen so far, cycling, micro-mobility technology, scooters, and employee shuttles are just some of the mobility services and solutions that will define the future of commuting.
Want to see how HQ can support your business?
Leave your info and we'll get in touch
One of the world’s largest asset managers. Offers investment management, risk management, and advisory services. Operates in 30 countries with 70 offices and 18,000 employees.
HQ returned to GBTA 2023 for the second year as we stepped out in hot and humid Dallas, Texas! It was a…
At HQ, our business model is based on transparency for our clients and supplier partners. At a time of changing market dynamics, recession fears, inflation, and market volatility, this transparency is now business-critical. In particular, providing your employees, and travel managers, with access to the right information at the right time to make informed decisions. It’s about empowering your employees so they have the freedom and flexibility to manage their ground travel arrangements autonomously. At the same, proactively ensuring they are mindful of ride prices. That is why accurate ride price estimations are essential.