Boston once againtook the top spot in the nation for traffic congestion according to a report this week by the travel analytics firm Inrix, but the usual morning commute suddenly seemed easier due to the threat of coronavirus emptying the roadways.
As events have been canceled and businesses have emphasized telecommuting, the latest Department of Transportation data shows travel times began to drop on Monday and dropped even more Tuesday. During the Tuesday morning commute, travel times dropped by a third on I-93 north and south of Boston and on I-90, travel times between 495 and Allston dropped by almost half.
For example, at 7 a.m. Tuesday, traveling southbound on I-93 from Route 128 to the Zakim bridge took 22 minutes, down from 38 minutes on a normal Tuesday at the same time period a year ago.
State officials say the decrease is evidence that employees are taking the advice to work from home.
The transportation slowdown isn't just on the roads. At Logan Airport, Massport says the number of passengers going through security checkpoints fell 13 percent compared to a year ago.
The MBTA reports Subway ridership on the T is down around 2 ½ percent in the first week of March. The commuter rail operator Keolis does not have specific ridership figures but it has been described as lighter than normal. Amtrak is being hit hard, saying it is facing a 300% increase in cancellations and 50% drop in future bookings. The railroad is asking employees to take unpaid leave, as it faces millions of dollars in losses.