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CTDOT’s “Connecticut In Motion” Webinar Examines the Impact of COVID-19 on Current Workplace Trends and Commuting

The Connecticut Department of Transportation (CTDOT), through its commuter services program, CTrides, will debut the next webinar in the “Connecticut in Motion” series on Tuesday, May 18 at noon. This episode will explore the impact that COVID-19 has on current workplace and commuting trends in Connecticut.

As more of the state’s residents are vaccinated and the state continues to loosen its restrictions due to the pandemic, local employers are planning for the “new normal’ at their workplaces. Workplace arrangements will likely encompass greater flexibility and hybrid working arrangements for the foreseeable future. This webinar will bring together workplace and transportation experts to shed light on these developments.

The podcast is moderated by Dennis House, Chief Political Anchor, News 8 (WTNH). Panelists include: Kim Lesay, Bureau Chief, CTDOT Bureau of Policy and Planning; Kelly Bacon, Global Practices Lead – Workplace Advisor, AECOM; and Lauren Mason, Senior Principal, Mercer. 

“As workplaces change with more employees incorporating flexible work schedules, the impact on Connecticut’s transportation system is likely to vary according to the mode of transportation commuters choose,” states Kim Lesay. “The use of the highway system is back to pre-pandemic levels. While we don’t see the same types of high travel demands during the peak commuting hours on our highways, shorter trips are on the rise. However, the public transit system is experiencing ridership on the bus system somewhat lower than pre-pandemic levels, and rail ridership is only approximately one-third of what is was pre-pandemic. As more commuters return to work in the office, increased use of public transportation will be critical in managing traffic congestion in the state.”

CTDOT will continue to monitor these developments closely to plan for any changes in the transportation network to accommodate for these substantial changes in travel and commuting. 

Kelly Bacon will identify a number of pre-existing trends affecting the workplace that were super-charged as a result of the pandemic. “Employees are finding that they can work at home productively and would like to keep this new flexibility,” states Bacon. “At the same time, we see across the board that employers are wrestling with how to accommodate employees’ newfound ability to work productively at home without the daily commute to their workplace.”

Lauren Mason will discuss what she has seen in her workplace and explore what can only be done at the workplace and what things can be done productively at home. “While Mercer saw that about twenty percent of employees desire to continue to work from home, the new normal is likely to be a hybrid workplace,” states Mason. “Although this development may take several years to develop fully. Employers are looking to bring employees back to their workplace to foster collaboration and creativity, maintain their corporate culture, and to incorporate and mentor new employees.”

All participants agree that changes in how employees work, where they work, and what commuting choices they make will continue to evolve over the next five to ten years. Workplace changes will also depend on real estate and other considerations that have a much longer timeline. Expectations of a “work anyplace future” also seems marginal due to legal and tax issues that impact locational decisions of employees.

The webinar will be approximately 30 minutes in duration and registration is required. Further details and registration can be found here

Over the coming months, the “Connecticut in Motion” webinar series will continue to examine the impact of COVID-19 on different aspects of the changing workplace, work practices, and commuting.


CTrides, a service of the Connecticut Department of Transportation, works with employers and the public to improve commuting to work while helping to reduce traffic congestion and harmful emissions from unnecessary driving. Find out more about your low cost and healthier commuting options, at

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