More than half of Americans don’t feel safe getting around in anything other than their own vehicle during the coronavirus pandemic, according to a new poll.
The national Harris Poll conducted over the weekend found 79 percent don’t consider subway safe, 73 percent are averse to planes, 70 percent think taxis are unsafe, and 65 percent were irked by Ubers. By comparison, 91 percent felt it was safe or somewhat safe to take a car.
“Its fear of the unknown,” said Harris Poll CEO John Gerzema.
The poll found 58 percent of respondents don’t feel safe using a bike share like Citi Bike — and Gerzema said the relatively low number could be a sign that more two-wheelers will be hitting the streets.
“Look for the explosion of bikes,” he said. “We’re going to have to think about more bike lanes [and] potentially shutting down more streets to allow for people to feel safe.”
Gerzema added that “most New Yorkers don’t have access to [cars], nor can afford ride sharing,” leaving them feeling uneasy about getting around.
And about 80 percent of those surveyed said they fear leaving their homes entirely — even for essential errands like going to the pharmacy or grocery store.
This comes as several states have begun to reopen, and even parts of the hard-hit Empire State are loosening restrictions.
But while 43 percent said they would go back to work within 30 days, only 20 percent said they would take public transportation.
Of those surveyed, lower-income Gen-Xers were the most likely to say they would get back on mass transit.
“While everyone wants the economy to reopen and people to get back to work, we have a large gap between what most Americans believe is safe and what they can afford,” Gerzema said.
About 52 percent of respondents said they feared losing their jobs — and 49 percent said they feared dying.
“This puts people in the position of choosing their health or their livelihood –– an unfair choice, one not even comprehensible two months ago,” Gerzema said.
Officials will have to make sure people not only feel comfortable going back to work, but also getting there, he noted.
The results “suggest there’s a lot more work that needs to be done than just cleaning the subways at night,” he added.
The survey was conducted online within the U.S. from May 15-17 among a nationally representative sample of 1,961 U.S. adults.
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