For the past 1.5 years Covid-19 has shaken the world and all types of activity. Public policy has typically responded with restrictions that aim to curtail the spread of the virus by minimizing the interactions of people. Starting from the mid of 2020, global restrictive measures were necessarily imposed in public transport use, ride-sharing and taxi services. In some cases, the number of passengers was limited to a certain amount while in others, transportation use was completely forbidden. This, in combination with work-from-home and retail/restaurant restrictions has lead to a marked decrease of mobility activity for the year of 2020, as measured by most modes of transportation. Since the beginning of 2021, and as governments learn to cope with the pandemic, measures are progressively raised in an attempt to return to a more normal way of living (and economic activity).
With the help of our Data Partner Ualabee we take a closer look at the extent of this recovery in Latin America. Ualabee is able to understand in great depth the mobility activity in the areas where it operates through the extended user-base that uses its mobility mobile app- while preserving anonymity and data privacy.
In Argentina, as the first official case of infection was confirmed in Buenos Aires on the 3rd of March 2020, the government gradually responded with restrictions on movement, closure of commercial areas and mandatory use of masks, leading to a nationwide lockdown in mid-March. The areas with the highest infection rates were the big metropolitan cities of Buenos Aires and Cordoba, where the biggest percentage of the country's population resides. In those cities, heavy restrictions on movement and use of public transportation were imposed for almost a year.
CASE STUDY: Cordoba, February 2020 - February 2021
Our data partner Ualabee has undergone research about the recovery in the use of public transport demand in the city of Cordoba, the second most populous city in Argentina.
The data presented below, cover the year of 2020 starting from March, when the first lockdown was imposed, up until February 2021 when we notice the beginning of a gradual relaxation in restrictions.
Overall, public transport usage during August 2020 - July 2021 dropped to 43% of the activity of the preceding 12 months. As the figures demonstrate, since the end of 2020 there has been a gradual recovery attributed partially to the lift of certain measures by the government and to increased rates of vaccination. Ualabee’s data provides a more granular understanding of this recovery in terms of areas of Origin and Destination. For more information about the data availability and specifications, you can also visit Ualabee's Data Listing on the Mobito Data Marketplace. Utilizing this data public officials and mobility observants are able to identify those areas which are lagging the overall recovery. Moreover, underlying data allows us to observe how transportation from every region to every other region has been affected- see below:
There is definitely still a long way until things are back to normal. Despite the fact that we see a substantial recovery in the use of public transport, it is still unknown when transportation will resume its pre-covid levels. Two major factors will play an important role in this:
As we stand today, the official guidelines of the Argentine government to its people is to avoid any unnecessary traveling with some exceptions. Therefore, despite the improvement already made in terms of lifting certain measures, the general guideline to "stay at home" remains in place.
RATE OF VACCINATION
A key indicator that will affect the overall recovery will certainly be the extent to which the population is vaccinated. According to provided data, at the time of this writing about 63% of the Argentinian population has received at least one dose while 36% has been fully vaccinated. Ualabee has further responded to this situation by developing a vaccination center map. This way locations of vaccination centers are made more easily accessible to the population.
Ualabee Company Background
Ualabee is a mobility platform that integrates routes and schedules of public transport, micro mobility services and ride-hailing operators to offer routing, mapping and data services to people, companies and cities.