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MOBICOR study on mobility in Baden-Württemberg during corona lockdown

Cycling increases by 33 percent compared to 2017

Baden-Württemberg: Mehr zu Fuß und auf dem Fahrrad? Wie sich die Mobilität während der Corona-Pandemie ändert
Baden-Württemberg: Mehr zu Fuß und auf dem Fahrrad? Wie sich die Mobilität während der Corona-Pandemie ändert © infas, WZB (2020)

Results of the MOBICOR study show that in Baden-Württemberg, walking traffic saw an increase of 73% compared to MiD 2017. 20 million bicycle kilometres travelled every day means an increase of 33%. Walking and cycling now have a share of 11% in the transport performance modal split.

People in Baden-Württemberg travelled about one way less per day during the corona shutdown. Overall, the distance travelled fell by a quarter. This is the result of the comparison of May/June 2020 with the figures from the household survey "Mobility in Germany (MiD)" for May/June 2017 in Baden-Württemberg. The MOBICOR study differentiates these statements on the basis of telephone interviews according to urban and rural areas, economic status and for people in short-time work, home office or unchanged work and training situations.

The number of passenger kilometres travelled in May/June 2020 decreased by almost 50% compared to 2017. The use of cars and bicycles increased and more journeys were made on foot. Robert Follmer, the responsible expert from infas, points out that the increased use and further expansion of public transport remain necessary for a successful transport turnaround and to reduce CO2 emissions. This is necessary for liveable places, the participation of financially weaker people and for equal living conditions in the city and in the countryside.

Active modes of transport increase traffic performance

Traffic performance fell sharply in the months of May and June 2020. It comprised about 80% of the level of the comparative months of May and June according to MiD. The decline is not evenly distributed; the muscle-powered modes of walking and cycling actually increased. A total of 19 million kilometres per day are covered on foot, an increase of 73% compared to the MiD. As a result, the share of the modal split by transport performance has doubled. It now amounts to almost 6%. Cycling has also gained ground, although not to the same extent as walking, but the 20 million kilometres cycled every day represent an increase of 33% compared to the MiD figures. Together with walking, the share of the modal split (by transport performance) is now more than 11%.

In urban regions of Baden-Württemberg, 32% of respondents work from home, which is 11% more than in rural regions. Moreover, working from home is a privilege of professionals with higher economic household status. 47% of them state that they work at home completely or partially. If the economic household status is rather low, the share drops to 20%. Many jobs in this sector belong to the service sector or health care and cannot be transferred to the home office, e.g. care for the elderly or sick, work in retail or in transport companies.

Car traffic had already returned to 80% of its previous level in May/June 2020. 36% of respondents said they used the car as an alternative to public transport, 19% of respondents switched from public transport to cycling. Infas suspects that car use will continue to increase as people return from the home office. At the same time, however, positive experiences with cycling or walking could become entrenched as routines. The figures from a second survey wave in autumn 2020 will provide more clarity on this.

Background: The infas Institute for Applied Social Science is conducting a research project on mobility in times of the Corona pandemic and findings for the mobility turnaround ("MOBICOR") on behalf of the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) together with the WZB Berlin Social Science Center and other institutes. An essential component is representative surveys on transport behaviour in and after the corona pandemic. Like Bavaria and Hesse, the Baden-Württemberg Ministry of Transport also commissioned a regional in-depth study to obtain representative findings specifically for Baden-Württemberg. In the first wave of the survey, 1,218 people aged 16 and over were interviewed in Baden-Württemberg from 19 May to 20 June 2020. The second survey is planned for autumn 2020, the third for spring 2021. The MOBICO app is available for download in the Google Play Store and Apple App Store.