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Trinity research shows 75% of workers fear contracting Covid-19 on their public transport commute

The research also shows that 80% of workers would prefer to work from home once Covid-19 restrictions are lifted.

Image: Leah Farrell

THREE-QUARTERS of workers fear contracting Covid-19 if they use public transport to get to work, according to a new survey from Trinity College Dublin. 

The survey was carried out as part of a longitudinal study into attitudes towards working from home and choices of transit. 

Along with the 75% who fear contracting covid, some 32% of the 500 workers surveyed said they would walk to work more often, while 25% said they would travel via public transport less often. 

There has been much discussion in recent days about contracting the virus on public transport due to the confinement of people in smaller places. 

Transport Minister Shane Ross said it is likely that people will be encouraged to wear masks on public transport as restrictions are eased from Monday. 

Working from home

During the 2019 wave of the Trinity survey, responses were gathered around the interest in working from home into the future and today published against responses gathered this year. 

In 2019, 25% of people said they would be strongly in favour of working from home one or two days each week.

In 2020, this increased to almost 80% of participants indicating they would prefer to work from home once the Covid-19 restrictions are lifted.

In both 2019 and 2020 the main motivating factors cited for working from home were for people to save time and reduce cost.

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The 2019 results demonstrated that, on average, 0.15 tonnes of carbon could be saved per annum if employees worked from home one day a week

“The current results from the study show that between the two survey periods working from home has become much more acceptable and that in a post COVID-19 world this might become the norm,” Brian Caulfield, Associate Professor in Trinity’s School of Engineering, said. 

“The findings related to public transport echo those that have been reported internationally and demonstrate the concerns people have about using public transport.” 

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