Report: Private Shuttle Solutions for ‘the Next Normal’

Report: Private Shuttle Solutions for ‘the Next Normal’

A look at commuting’s impact on reopening offices in new research from JLL.

With offices starting to reopen and companies tweeting about preparations to do so safely, employees are wondering how they’ll commute back to work.

A report from commercial real estate firm JLL explores post-COVID workplace commute patterns and challenges in North America, highlighting shuttles among “potential solutions in the next normal.” [download “Getting there: Commuting Challenges in a post-pandemic world.”]

Researchers looked at public transit use, commute times and occupancy trends in transit-oriented regions such as New York City, Chicago, Boston, Washington, D.C., Los Angeles and the SF Bay Area, stating:

“Our initial findings indicate that employees will be very cautious in every step of their journey back to their more traditional workplace arrangements, including how they get to work.”

Other highlights:

  • 34% of respondents who previously took public transportation to work indicated they’ll seek alternate forms of transportation after the pandemic.
  • Parking and traffic concerns remain: “…even in cities with lower percentages of transit ridership, any shift in commute patterns toward cars could further exacerbate previously existing challenges with congestion and traffic.”
  • 1/3 office space is in 12 transit-centric regions in North America.
JLL Report getting there commuting challenges post COVID

Click to download on JLL’s website

Looking Forward: Potential Mobility Solutions

The report encourages real estate occupiers to consider shuttles among four options to improve safety, reduce density and increase accessibility.

JLL’s Julia Georgules and Christian Beaudoin discussed shuttles, work-near-home locations and other approaches companies are adopting or considering on the “Building Places” podcast hosted by James Cook.

“We’ve heard of smaller shuttle services, we’ve heard of using ridesharing companies to help get people to and from work safely, so I think we’ll see creative options emerge from this,” Georgules notes.

In addition to employee shuttles, they described how building owners are making offices more accessible with streetscapes, bikesharing, scooters and other options.

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Images: Shutterstock and JLL


JLL Research, “Commuting challenges in a post-pandemic world,” 2020 Forecast Series, June 2020
JLL Research, “Will returning workers take public transportation to the office?” Building Places podcast, May 29, 2020