Moovit Unveils its 2020 Global Public Transport Report

Moovit’s big data analysis of millions of users’ trip requests in over 100 cities across 28 countries, combined with user research, reveals that 34% of Americans are still riding public transit despite the pandemic, and 46% demand mobile payment to ride safely in 2021

San Francisco, January 2021

Moovit, an Intel company, a leading Mobility as a Service (MaaS) solutions provider and creator of the #1 urban mobility app, is unveiling its 2020 Global Public Transport Report. The report consists of big data analyzed from tens of millions of trip requests, together with user research in 104 metropolitan areas across 28 countries. The result portrays a fascinating picture of global transit trends, comparing 2019 and 2020 — how people move around their cities, the impact of COVID-19 on public transportation use, and riders’ increased demand for mobile payment.

At the lowest point in 2020, some cities in the United States, the country with the most COVID-19 cases in the world, experienced more than an 80% drop in public transportation ridership. It’s an understatement to say that with many residents working from home, avoiding mass transit, and vast changes in local transit services, the way people travel within their cities has changed.

In the United States, data was analyzed in the Boston, Chicago, Los Angeles, Miami, New York-New Jersey, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, San Francisco, Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue, and Washington, DC-Baltimore metropolitan areas.

Report metrics include the duration of a one-way public transit commute, wait time at stops/stations, walking distance as part of a one-way commute, number of transfers, total trip distance, what public transit riders said would encourage more ridership, and micro-mobility (bike and scooter) usage frequency, why it’s used, and barriers to adoption. The 2020 report includes two new categories: mobile payment demand for transit, and COVID-19 impact on public transit usage.

The data revealed in the 2020 Global Public Transport Report indicates that public and shared transportation riders are open to new transit options that are considered safe and convenient, such as future robotaxi services. To fulfil their shared Mobility as a Service (MaaS) vision, Mobileye, a leader in autonomous vehicle technology and Moovit’s sister company, plans to harness Moovit’s mobility behavioral insight to offer autonomous MaaS in key markets globally. Together, Moovit’s urban mobility app used by millions, and deep understanding of mobility patterns will enable Mobileye to begin offering robotaxi services, both as a standalone and in partnership with transit operators in 2022.

Moovit and Mobileye Infographic

Findings about public transit in the United States:

  • Due to COVID-19 and stay-at-home orders, almost 50% of Americans are using public transit lessfrequently or not at all, while 34% are still using it the same amount as before
  • 21% of San Francisco locals, in the state with the highest amount of COVID-19 cases, are no longer using public transportation
  • It’s no surprise that 46% of Americans said they are most likely or definitely interested in mobile payment methods for a safer mass transit journey
  • Yet again, Miamians endure the longest public transit commute times, while Pittsburgh riders have the shortest commute times
  • Thirty percent of Los Angeles locals wait at stops and stations for more than 20 minutes for theirtransit lines during a one-way commute – the worst in North America
  • The top three reasons that would encourage riders to get back on the bus during the pandemic are: social distancing, real-time bus/train arrival information and COVID-19 disinfection of vehicles, stations, and stops

Compared to other global cities:

  • NYC has the highest COVID-related deaths among all US cities, yet 44% are not interested in mobile payments for public transit
    • While 54% of locals in Sao Paulo, the Brazilian city with the highest COVID-related deaths, want mobile payment for public transportation
  • San Francisco experienced a 23% decrease in people traveling more than 7.5 miles per commute in 2020 compared to 2019, while Parisians only had a 4% decrease
  • A quarter of New Yorkers enjoy short travel times of up to 30 minutes, but in London, 68% more people enjoy short commutes
  • Just 5% of Spaniards in Madrid care about knowing in advance if their approaching bus is crowded, while 45% in Chicago do

“We’re living in a time where data is more important than ever before,” said Yovav Meydad, Moovit’s

Chief Growth and Marketing Officer. “Especially in the public transportation industry, big data can help cities and transit agencies gain insights into what riders need in order to increase mass transit use. We’re excited to release our annual Global Public Transport Report, which includes insights from riders themselves on what they need in order to feel safe riding public transportation. This report is a great tool for transit agencies, operators, and municipalities to learn about the services they can offer to fill in the gaps and keep their city running.”

Moovit’s 2020 Global Public Transport Report is being made accessible to those that would like to explore and compare the metrics of cities and countries around the world. The data is available under the Creative Commons license and can be used for articles, news stories, and/or research papers as long as credit is given to Moovit, including a link back to

The 2020 Global Public Transport Report can be viewed here.


COVID-19 Impact on Public Transit Usage

  • Due to COVID-19 and stay home measures, 41% of Americans ride public transportation less frequently than before, and 11% no longer it at all
    • In California, the state with the highest amount of COVID-19 cases, 21% of San Franciscans are no longer riding public transit
  • Almost half in NYC-NJ (49%) ride public transportation less frequently than before
    • While 44% in Pittsburgh, a city that did not feel the wrath of COVID-19 until a few weeks ago, say that the virus has not affected how often they ride mass transit

COVID-19 – Related Public Transit Usage Incentives

  • Public transit riders said that the top three reasons that would get them back on the bus during the pandemic are:
    • Respecting social distancing regulations on vehicles and at stops/stations
    • Real-time arrival information for decreased waiting times at crowded bus stops
    • COVID-19 disinfection of vehicles, stations, and stops

Average public transit commute time per trip (one way):

  • Miamians endure the longest trip times for the second year in a row (58 minutes), while Pittsburgh riders have the shortest public transit commute, averaging 43 minutes
  • 41% of San Franciscans travel up to 30 minutes, 15% more than in 2019

Total wait time at stops/stations per trip (one way):

  • Miamians endure the longest wait times, averaging 18 minutes
  • Thirty percent of Los Angeles locals wait more than 20 minutes for their transit – the worst in North America
  • Almost a quarter —20% — of New Yorkers wait less than 5 minutes for transit

Total average walking distance per trip (one way):

  • Washington, DC takes the lead for longest average distance commuters walk during a trip, with 0.49 miles
  • New Yorkers and New Jerseyan’s walk the least on average per trip – under half a mile (0.39 miles) – the shortest in North America

Number of transfers per commute (one way):

  • Chicago has the highest rate of riders making three or more transfers per trip (27%), while 44% of Pittsburgh riders get where they’re going using one line (no transfers)

Total commute distance (one way):

  • The percentage of Americans who travel more than 7.5 miles during an average commute fell by 7% from 2019 to 2020

Mobile Payment Demand

  • 46% of Americans said they would most likely or definitely be interested in using mobile payments for their public transit trips
  • Surprisingly, in a region hard hit by COVID-19 cases, more than a quarter of respondents in NYC-NJ said they would most likely not be interested in mobile payment for public transit

For more information on these statistics, including information on micro-mobility frequency, usage reasons, and barriers to adoption, you can view the Moovit Global Public Transport Report here.


Due to the extensive coverage offered by Moovit outside of the city centers, the named cities covered in Moovit’s report also include the areas immediately surrounding that city.

About Moovit

Moovit (, an Intel company, is a leading Mobility as a Service (MaaS) solutions provider and the creator of the #1 urban mobility app. Moovit was acquired by Intel in 2020 to join forces with Mobileye and advance its MaaS strategy. Together, Moovit and Mobileye will accelerate the global adoption of autonomous transportation.

Moovit’s iOS, Android, and Web apps guide people in getting around town effectively and conveniently, using any mode of transport. Introduced in 2012 it now serves over 950 million users in more than 3,400 cities across 112 countries.
Moovit amasses up to six billion anonymous data points a day to add to the world’s largest repository of transit and urban mobility data. For governments, cities, transit agencies, and private companies, Moovit offers AI-powered MaaS solutions covering planning, operations, and optimization with proven value in reducing congestion, growing ridership, and increasing efficiency and asset utilization. Industry leaders such as Microsoft, Uber, and Cubic have partnered with Moovit to power their mobility offerings.

Moovit Media Contact
Sharon Kaslassi
Global PR Manager
In This Announcement:
Yovav Meydad
Chief Growth & Marketing Officer