Less Bus Rides and More Car Buying Since COVID-19 Coronavirus Pandemic

Cars.com  a leading digital automotive marketplace and solutions provider, shares new data revealing changes to Americans’ everyday work commute as many plan (or plan not) to head back to the office in the weeks and months to come. Cars.com finds1 more than a third of Americans are currently working from home, putting greater reliance on their personal vehicle. Sixty-six percent of workers are saving valuable time on their commutes, leaving subway cars, bus seats and train platforms largely empty as they continue to ditch the office.

“As much of the American office workforce continues to work remotely, there is a major shift in commuting behavior, which is likely to have a lasting impact long after we return to the office,” said Matt Schmitz, assistant managing editor for Cars.com. “Workers are saving up to an hour or more a day by not commuting, and finding significant value in this newfound gift of time. And when they do finally return to the office, it won’t be via mass transit. Personal vehicles will dominate the work commute as distrust in public transport and ride-sharing continues.”

According to the new Cars.com study:

The work commute has changed, possibly forever.

  • 43% of Americans lack faith in fellow passengers to abide by health and safety protocols, while 57% at least moderately trust other passengers.
  • 30% of those who are currently working at an office at least part-time are commuting less often.
  • 35% of future commuters

plan to commute less, even after returning to work in person.

Sixty-two percent of workers swap public transportation for their car.

  • 21% have purchased a car in the last six months, with 57% saying it was due to the pandemic.
  • 65% of bus riders have stopped riding or are riding less frequently.
  • 60% of subway or commuter rail riders have stopped riding or are riding less frequently.
  • 59% are using ride-sharing less often than before.
  • 49% believe it will be at least three months before travel on mass transit returns to pre-COVID levels. An additional 7% state they will never resume their pre-COVID mass transit levels.

Sixty-six percent of Americans are saving 30 minutes or more per day on their commute.

  • 40% of commuters are saving up to one hour per day.
  • 26% of commuters are saving more than one hour per day.

The newfound gift of time allows Americans to relax, connect and invest in themselves.

  • 43% of would-be commuters are watching more TV and movies with their extra time.
  • 38% are spending more time exercising.
  • 33% are spending their spare time with family and friends.
  • 19% are using the extra time to work more.

For more information, visit Cars.com.

1 All data referenced comes from Cars.com’s survey results Aug. 13-14, 2020; 3,062 respondents

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