8 Things You May Never See on Public Transit Again After Coronavirus

Social distancing will have a lasting effect on how we commute. Here are some changes you can anticipate.

Everyone is eager for the return to a post-pandemic lifestyle. But until that time comes, we're all left wondering what that "new normal" will look like and how it will affect our everyday lives. Take, for example, how many citizens use mass transit to commute to and from their places of work ever day. As medical and public health experts learn about the COVID-19 contagion and how it spreads, we should expect a very different public transit experience after the coronavirus.

The Washington Post recently reported on new CDC guidelines for opening up mass transit. And it looks like some commuting traditions and features could disappear entirely once people are returning to work and therefore, heavily relying on public transportation again. Read on for a look at how riding subways, buses, and trains will be different post-coronavirus.

No more trash cans

trash can on bus

"No more trash cans should become a new standard" on public transportation, according to The Washington Post—which means that commuters will need to take their trash with them.

No more touch-activated doors

touch doors on bus

To decrease touch points and increase hygienic standards on buses and trains, all door openers will need to be touchless, The Washington Post reports.

No more occupied middle seats

subway bench

Social distancing guidelines will certainly apply to the entire commuting experience. That means commuters will be forced to space themselves out on trains, buses, and subway cars. So expect to see more empty middle, or alternating, seats on public transportation. At least that should be a more enjoyable experience.

No more touchable fareboxes

farebox on bus

What's a farebox? It's the mechanism by which you pay to enter either a subway station or bus, and they should all become touchless post-pandemic, according to the CDC. "Passengers should no longer be required to touch fareboxes with their transit passes—meaning fareboxes should become touchless," The Washington Post reports.

No more paper tickets

closeup of hand holding paper train ticket

Considering that the COVID-19 contagion can live on paper for up to 24 hours, any paper tickets for trains, buses, or subway rides are likely to become a thing of a past. Cities will likely not be putting conductors and ticket takers at risk by asking them to collect paper tickets. And for more places you shouldn't expect to see tickets anymore, here are 5 Things You'll Never See at Movie Theaters Again After Coronavirus.

No more packed trains, buses, and cars

crowded new york city subway shows people holding on to bar

The Washington Post suggests that a key to the CDC guidelines is lowering the maximum number of people allowed on each train or bus, and clear markings to ensure commuters stay six feet apart from one another.

No more crowded platforms

Crowded Subway station Overpopulation

It's not just trains and buses that will have maximum occupancy guidelines, but the stations themselves. This won't necessarily always be an issue, but a packed subway station during rush hour will likely be a thing of the past, at least for the near term.

No more short wait times

train arriving at station

Though the CDC also suggests "increasing service frequency on busier routes and lines to limit crowding," expect to see increased wait times since there will be a lower maximum number of riders allowed on each train, bus, or subway car. Instead of crowding on platforms, however, lines may queue up outside of stations. And for more on the coronavirus, here are 25 Coronavirus Facts You Should Know by Now.

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