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(Australian Associated Press)
Office work is not dead despite a mass shift to working from home during the coronavirus pandemic, toll giant Transurban says.
But more people are expected to stick to driving and avoid public transport because of health concerns even after COVID-19, according to a Transurban report.
The company surveyed 4500 across Australia and North America over six days in July, finding 25 per cent did not expect to return to their previous public transport usage.
“With driving rebounding in many cities, it could eventually return stronger than ever, depending on how long commuters remain wary of public transport,” Transurban said on Wednesday.
“Such an increase in demand could stretch urban road infrastructure beyond pre-pandemic levels.”
Transurban also says the mass shift to working from home is not expected to last, with 86 per cent of people surveyed expecting to return to the office after COVID-19.
But just 42 per cent thought life would return to normal within 12 months.
Transurban released the data as it reported a net profit loss of more than $100 million for the 2019/2020 financial year.
Its Melbourne toll roads were the worst hit, with average daily traffic falling by almost nine per cent and revenue by 8.1 per cent.
“Transurban, like most businesses, has seen significant impact to our revenue as a result of COVID-19 and the associated government actions,” chief executive Scott Charlton said.
“Pleasingly we have seen clear signs of improvement in most of our markets as government restrictions have been eased. However, as evidenced by recent declines in traffic in Melbourne, we expect traffic to remain sensitive to government responses.”