Authorities-imposed business shutdowns to stem the spread of coronavirus helped erase nearly 597,000 jobs in the Bay Area during March and April — but they also helped wipe out car trips and traffic jams in a gargantuan way, according to a modern financial document released Tuesday.
The financial fallout ushered in by state and local authorities mandates that shuttered untold numbers of businesses has been catastrophic: An estimated 555,100 jobs were lost in the Bay Area in April, on the heels of a lack of 41,800 jobs in March, the state’s Employment Construction Department has reported.
But with a fast-rising alternative of alternative folks working from house — or out of labor — other folks have been driving considerable less during a spring dominated by the personal and financial impact of the coronavirus, according to a document released Tuesday by the Institute for Regional Research and Joint Venture Silicon Valley.
The document touts what it describes as a “silver lining” arising from the business shutdowns in Silicon Valley, the Bay Area, and California.
“We certainly don’t intend to minimize the tragedy of the pandemic,” said Rachel Massaro, director of research for the Institute of Regional Research.
During May, freeway car miles traveled per capita, a way of measuring how far each person is driving, on average, were down dramatically in Silicon Valley, the Bay Area, and California, compared with the traits from a year ago as successfully as the early part of 2020 sooner than the Bay Area issued the nation’s first safe haven-in-place orders.
Nonetheless, the May travel totals on freeways in Silicon Valley, the Bay Area, and California were up significantly from April, a potential indicator of a rebounding job market, according to the institute.
The document also found that travelers in Silicon Valley reduced their average freeway travel to a dramatically greater extent than their counterparts in the Bay Area and California compared to a year sooner than.
Nonetheless, Silicon Valley drivers also returned to their vehicles at a considerable faster pace in May compared with April than was the case in California and the Bay Area, according to the modern peek.
During May, Silicon Valley freeway car miles traveled averaged 179.7 per person, up 22.2 percent from April nonetheless down 44.4 percent from the same month a year ago.
Bay Area freeway travel averaged 239.1 miles per capita in May, up 16.5 percent from April nonetheless down 32.4 percent from May 2019. And California freeway travel averaged 229.6 miles per person in May, up 16.5 percent from April and down 28.1 percent from May of a year ago, the document determined.
“Will the health crisis catalyze modern approaches to transportation and a renewed emphasis on telecommuting? we hope this peek will inform the thinking on important questions such as these,” said Russell Hancock, president of Joint Venture Silicon Valley.