The effects of COVID-19 are being felt across the transportation sector. The pressure on organizations during this pandemic has shifted from moving citizens to keeping transportation system operational with a skeleton workforce to ensure freight and key essential workers can continue to move.
A secondary effect of this shift is the sudden change in sources of revenue for transportation operators, with many experiencing an unexpected shortfall in their finances. Organizations need to plan to ensure that the transportation network is ready for a return to normal operations since the coronavirus pandemic lockdown measures have been lifted.
Transportation organizations will need to ensure that transportation networks can continue to operate throughout the lockdown measures, striking a balance between reduced operations and providing enough capacity for key workers to be able to practice social distancing.
The government started laying the foundation for a complete overhaul of the country’s transportation system. The goal was to make the system more sustainable, accessible, affordable, and safe, while providing Kenyans’ true transportation alternatives to trips made in single-occupancy vehicles.
The government has been developing a high-capacity, high-speed, high-frequency transit network, which includes new modes of transit and improvements to existing services. These sweeping plan are underpinned by transformative trends we see shaping the mobility agenda in 2020 and beyond.
Longer-term investment programs may need to be replanned and reprioritized in light of decreased revenue. Organizations will need to plan for the availability of key personnel to ensure that staffs with critical skills and training are available throughout the coronavirus pandemic to keep networks operational.
Commuting and traveling patterns may not recover to their pre–COVID-19 state once lockdowns are lifted. Transportation leaders will be defined by what they do along the three dimensions to managing a crisis: respond, recover, and thrive.
They should determine the cost and revenue implications of low ridership and protect core assets, protect the availability of key personnel and use training to build up a larger pool of available workers for key roles, engage with government and other stakeholders to determine the key requirements of the transportation network and create a number of contingency plans for the resumption of service, taking into account a rapid surge in demand.
This will reshape aspects of how people and goods move across the Kenya transportation network especially on the ground. The government has seen the necessity for change and it has been looking for innovative ideas for the best way forward. Understanding these trends is a first step in navigating today’s fast-changing mobility landscape.