Open-Air Buses During COVID-19, London, UK, 2020

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Summary

As a way to more safely use public transit during the current pandemic, Snap, a London-based on-demand bus company, is looking to implement a commuter service with open-topped buses. Snap proposes adapting some of London’s 233 roofless tourist buses to help transport passengers safely to work and other important essential services. Snap’s estimates fares around 3.30 pounds, or 4.19 dollars, for a single trip. Snap is planning to have fewer stops than the average London bus while operating at ¼- capacity, letting riders social distance on the upper open-topped deck. A recent poll shows that 70% of residents don’t feel comfortable with returning to public transit. Snap hopes this will help address the concerns of residents in London who face the possibility of returning from remote-work arrangements. As of August, the company is currently operating a free trial service between Walthamstow in northeast London and the centre of the capital, following London Underground’s Victoria Line,  with other routes being determined based on demand. Prospective riders can register their home and work destinations on Snap’s website and as soon as 20 people are taking the same route, a bus route will be added to that journey. Snap estimates it will provide services to about 30,000 commuters. 

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