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Commentary By Allison Schrager

The End of a Pandemic but Not of Remote Work

Economics Finance

President Biden has declared the pandemic over. And after Labor Day, many bosses told their employees to come back on the office. But the workers aren't listening. Midtown Manhattan has gotten busier, but based on data from the MTA commuting is not close to back to normal. The figure below shows ridership on subways, busses, and commuter rails compared to pre-pandemic times on Wednesday September 14. It shows even on days people are most likely to be in the office, subway and bus ridership is only 60% of what it used to be. Trains are only at 70%. The only full recovery is traffic in bridges and tunnels. This data not only illustrates revenue challenges for the MTA, it also suggests that work and metro centers may never be the same again, or at least for a very long time. 

Source: MTA

Allison Schrager is a senior fellow at the Manhattan Institute. Follow her on Twitter here.

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