Downloads and usage of transportation apps reveals shifting trends post-COVID-19

Anne Freier | July 14, 2020

App Business

As a growing number of consumers avoided public transport and ride-sharing during the COVID-19 pandemic, app expert Apptopia recently published data on mobile transpiration apps to predict how and when consumers would return to using public transportation options.

Installs of public transit scheduling apps were down in the second quarter of 2020 to roughly half the levels of 2019, signalling a lack of interest among commuters to take trains or buses.

However, location data shows that some areas in the US are slowly recovering.

Use of apps like Uber and Lyft is also making a comeback. While downloads declined between February and April, they’ve picked back up in May and June. However, the two apps are still down 21% in terms of downloads.

Meanwhile, more consumers are looking to purchase cars as evidenced by an increase in traffic to auto dealerships and more daily active users of vehicles.

Overall, usage of apps to purchase cars, for example CarGurus and Carvana, was up 16.4% during June after an initial spike of 12% in March 2020.

Gas station visits further cemented the trend toward increased vehicle usage with visits to gas stations returning to pre-pandemic levels.

But cycling seems to be the mode of transport of choice for many users with new mobile app installs in May and June of bike sharing apps up 15.6% and 23.3% year-on-year.

The findings highlight that developers of transportation apps may want to tap into these changing consumer preferences and adjust their efforts according to commuter preferences.

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