How California Stopped Moving

20 May 2020

How has California slowed down since the shelter in place orders? This animation by Mobility Flow and Goudappel Coffeng shows the percent change of vehicle miles traveled (VMT) from March 1 to May 10. Following the March 19 shelter in place orders, the Bay Area has seen the most drastic impact in VMT reduction. Its also important to note the slow and steady increase by all counties back to normal levels.

The extent to which the COVID-19 pandemic will change the movement of people in the next year and beyond is still unknown. One thing is clear: public transit will most likely not be an option for most in the initial rebuilding phase. Additionally, once the shelter in place orders stop, the roads will soon be congested once again. With no transit to turn to, what will remain? Perhaps more people will choose to work from home, others might turn to their bikes or other non-auto modes of transit. Regardless of these answers, it remains important to monitor how the pandemic has already shifted our transportation behavior and to begin thinking of innovative ways to keep cities moving. What patterns do you see?

Made possible by Streelight Data

CA VMT Change COVID-19