Your favourite transport app could play its part in helping you travel more safely in post-lockdown commutes. Confirmed by Grant Shapps, Transport Secretary, at the Downing Street briefing on 9 May 2020, the UK Government is working with the technology sector to highlight crowding on transport to change the way that people commute.
The Department of Transport has met with tech companies, including Google, Microsoft, Citymapper, Zipabout and Trainline "to explore how technology could help ease overcrowding and reduce the risk of a second spike in coronavirus cases."
It's thought that the new normal for UK commuters will involve staggering travel to work, to avoid crowding on public transport with the aim of making commutes safer.
Although the details haven't been revealed it's likely that these apps will use data on the transport network to indicate how busy commuter routes are. There's a lot of data accessible for these types of services already, but if your favourite app can alert you crowding to help you avoid those crowds then the experience could be safer - as well as nicer.
Services like Citymapper already offer suggestions for alternative routes based on how long a journey might take. Those alternatives don't currently factor in crowding per se, but it might be that in times when the buses or Tubes are starting to look busy, we'll see increased recommendations to walk instead.
For a city like London, walking can often get you to your destination as fast as a short Tube ride. It's also likely that these services will expand to cover things like electric scooters, if they are legalised following the Government's accelerated evaluation plans.