Many people are, understandably, nervous about the idea of taking public transit during a global pandemic. It is definitely something we need to be aware of and take precautions around (see Winnipeg Transit’s safety guidelines). However, there are some alternative options that may help ease your mind. Knowing your options will help you figure out the type of travel that suits you best, and makes you feel the most comfortable.
There is a lot changing on a daily basis. With that in mind, now is actually the best time to consider switching up your routine for some healthier and more sustainable habits. We saw over the summer a big increase in biking and walking, but what is going to happen with winter around the corner and fewer people willing or able to use active transportation? If everyone who has been walking and biking switches to single occupant vehicles, this would prove to be extremely hard on the environment and our city infrastructure.
Carpooling can be a suitable alternative to people who are still leery to ride the bus, and may be unable to walk or bike to their workplace. You can organize shared rides with people who are already in your work cohort and that live nearby. You may already be sharing an office space or come into contact with these people. Rather than going on a bus with multiple people you don’t know, you can slightly expand your bubble to your commuter-work buddy.
Alternatively if you are comfortable to match with people you don’t work with you can also check out GoManitoba.ca, which will help to match you with other riders and drivers so that you can create a carpool bubble.
If you find a good match, that means you are probably only seeing one person in close proximity for your daily commute. Making it a regular occurrence ensures you are seeing the same person and are minimally expanding your bubbles. Along with this we still advise you to take precautions: wear your masks for the duration of your commute, limit the number of people in the car, open windows, and ensure you sanitize and wipe surfaces down.
The Province of Manitoba has some tips on staying safe during covid-19 if you are carpooling or using any other shared modes of transportation.
Of course there is still some risk with these options as with any time you leave your house right now, but you are lessening your risk by only expanding your bubble to a couple of people. This is still helping you to be sustainable in your commute, save money and it may even be a more comfortable alternative for you!
Remember transit, along with winter walking and cycling are all still great options. For some winter biking tips, check out this post. If working from home is an option, it is another great way you’re being sustainable. Telecommuting reduces the burden on public transit and reduces traffic congestion. By staying home, you are helping the community to stay safe.
There are many suitable and sustainable options for your commute. Please take the time to find the one that suits you the best!