Policies to Help Communities Recover: Commuting

6 Pages Posted: 31 Jul 2020

See all articles by M. Nolan Gray

M. Nolan Gray

Independent

Salim Furth

George Mason University - Mercatus Center

Emily Hamilton

George Mason University - Mercatus Center

Date Written: June 24, 2020

Abstract

The coronavirus pandemic has caused a steep drop in urban travel, with many working from home or altogether out of work. Although much of the change is likely temporary, some new patterns may remain or arise during the adjustment to a new normal in 2021 and beyond. In particular, the real and perceived risks of workplace and transit transmission of COVID-19 will lead to enduring changes in work and commuting patterns. Policymakers should work to accommodate these disruptions by maximizing flexibility for commuters. For those workers who may choose to continue working from home, easing zoning restrictions on home businesses could clear a path for this option. Alternatively, for the millions of workers who are likely to return to conventional workspaces in the near future, congestion pricing to keep traffic moving and viable alternatives to transit will play an essential role in keeping Americans moving.

Keywords: commuting, coronavirus, coronavirus pandemic, COVID-19, public health, economics, quarantine, economy, economic crisis

JEL Classification: H70, R28, R00, O18, I00, I18

Suggested Citation

Gray, M. Nolan and Furth, Salim and Hamilton, Emily, Policies to Help Communities Recover: Commuting (June 24, 2020). Mercatus COVID-19 Response Policy Brief, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3664296 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3664296

Salim Furth

George Mason University - Mercatus Center ( email )

3434 Washington Blvd., 4th Floor
Arlington, VA 22201
United States

Emily Hamilton

George Mason University - Mercatus Center ( email )

3434 Washington Blvd., 4th Floor
Arlington, VA 22201
United States

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