In Beijing, the number of subway riders has risen to about 60 percent of pre-pandemic levels; in Berlin, ridership of buses and metros is 60 to 70 percent of normal fares; and in Paris, metro ridership has returned to 45% of usual levels.
However, the super-broadcast events did not happen.
Still, public health experts warn that the evidence to date should be viewed with caution.
Even in cities where ridership is on the rise, it has not reached pre-pandemic levels. A full return, with crowded subway cars, always poses a danger.
There are also other factors that can influence the occurrence of epidemics. They include the quality of the ventilation systems used to filter the air and the level to which a city has reduced its overall infection rate.
As a result, it is difficult to follow clusters of coronavirus cases to public transport: the chances that those infected will remember the exact wagon they rode in are unlikely, and it is nearly impossible to reach those who were in that same car.
Even looking at the worst months in New York City, it’s not clear to authorities to what extent public transportation contributed to a wave that killed more than 20,000 people.
New York officials are now focusing on how to bring runners back while avoiding the crowds during rush hour.
Subway ridership in the city is still around 20 percent of pre-pandemic levels. For the Metropolitan Transportation Authority, the agency that runs the city’s metro and buses and relies on fare revenue for 40% of its operating budget, this is a problem.