Commuters wearing facemasks, standing in a train carriage

Building Back Commuter Confidence

Long gone are the days of the commute?…
Long live the return of the commute?…
Will the commute be the same as before?…
Is the commute safe?…
Is social distancing enough?...

These questions and many more are on commuters minds’ right now. While we have all flexed, bended and stopped commuting practices it is clear that some of these changes will be temporary. However, others are more permanent. There is a great responsibility and opportunity for businesses, transport authorities and networks to acknowledge these concerns and look at the ways to bring comfort to the future commuter when they are ready and allowed to come back.

The next ‘new’ normal for rail and bus travel commuters is in many ways unknown but it can be planned better especially when it comes to the commuter experience on platforms and at depots. These are the areas that public transport bodies can look at now to ensure they provide the comfort of those commuters in the future.

Making commuting COVID-secure is much more than signage. Of course, ensuring an adequate focus on social distancing measures, occupancy management, direction of flow of people around platforms and buildings as well as internal air quality are all key and now common place. Whilst all of these activities are actively in place with signage – the ability to manage them and maintain them once we return to the next normal, once commuter and traveller numbers increase and the volume of public transport increases needs more than just signage.

This is where technology can support this challenge. The digitisation of public transport stations and hubs, depots and commercial offices is much more than just energy efficiency and site optimisation and maintenance improvement activities.

Digitisation solutions such as our CODA device is being up-skilled to deliver insights and control measures to make the facilities COVID-secure for the public and employees. CODA does this by creating COVID-secure platforms, hubs, depots and commercial offices, via:

  • Alerting on high occupancy levels, over-crowded parts of a platform.
  • Management of internal air quality.
  • Control of HVAC in accordance with CIBSE guidelines.

CODA then takes this one step further, it does all of this without compromising the environment or to the detriment of energy efficiency savings and route to NetZero measures. It ensures that the digital upgrade to manage COVID-secure operations doesn’t impact on energy consumption.

This is vital!

Showcase your commitment to COVID-secure transport

Once the digitisation of COVID-secure activities is in place, the responsibility on the public transport organisations is to evidence the commitment to commuters and staff – physically show them how the platform or station is COVID-secure.

Proving COVID-secure spaces can be realised with real-time dashboard displays to show air quality control, levels and occupancy. Promoting this duty of care to the wider stakeholder community.

Encouraging commuters back to public transport when lockdown eases is important on many levels, from ensuring COVID-secure measures are in place and keeping the virus low but also to ensure that commuters don’t slip back into the car, for fear of commuting and therefore ruining all those good efforts of switching commuters from car to public transport.


For more information or to find out how the team at Shields Energy can help you, please call us on +44 345 241 2889 or email info@shields.energy.

If you are looking to save energy, reduce reactive maintenance and better manage your entire estate please contact us.

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