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Most benefit for cycling and walking

dena survey on mobility behavior since COVID-19

Mobilitätsverhalten seit Covid-19
Mobilitätsverhalten seit Covid-19 © Deutsche Energie-Agentur GmbH

Mobility behavior since COVID-19: Individual transport increases significantly in corona times - bicycle gains in popularity - public transport is avoided due to corona

Almost one in three people changed their mobility behavior during the corona pandemic. This is the result of a survey by the survey by the German Energy Agency (dena). The most affected modes of transport are public transport and rail travel. 47 percent of public transport users and 40 percent of rail users report a change in their daily mobility behavior. This compares with only 26 percent of regular car users. In percentage terms, cycling and walking benefit most from the development: 37 percent and 35 percent of respondents, respectively, say they travel by bike or on foot significantly or somewhat more often.

The private car is used more frequently by 16 percent, while 32 percent use their own car less frequently. For four out of five respondents, the car was already a regularly used means of transportation before the pandemic. This applies to bicycles for 55 percent of respondents and to public transport and trains for 38 percent and 31 percent, respectively. In addition to the risk of infection (56 percent), changes in leisure activities (48 percent) and increased work in the home office (46 percent) were cited as reasons for the change in mobility behavior.

A total of 66 percent of regular public transport users reported that they use public services less frequently during corona times. The most popular alternatives are bicycling (43 percent), walking (40 percent), sharing (34 percent) and owning a car (29 percent). Among young adults ages 18 to 29, 34 percent are more likely to use their own car and 26 percent are less likely. Among respondents over 30, on the other hand, there was a clear tendency to use the car less frequently.

Public transport users in particular cited fear of infection as a reason for changing their mobility behavior (69 percent), with similar responses from people who regularly took the train (64 percent). The majority of respondents who already preferred other modes of transportation before corona also cited the risk of infection as the most important reason for avoiding public transportation (between 53 and 56 percent).

Increasing the frequency of buses and trains (91 percent) and expanding bike lanes (69) are seen as particularly useful individual measures for future transportation. The abolition of bus lanes to temporarily accommodate more car traffic is rejected by a majority (83 percent). After all, 59 percent also liked the short-term installation of pop-up bike lanes. 40 percent would even like to see this measure extended beyond the corona crisis. 34 percent, however, were fundamentally opposed to such a measure.

About the survey: The survey was conducted by Forsa Gesellschaft für Sozialforschung und statistische Analysen mbH (Forsa) as part of the dena project "New conception, development and operation of a central information platform on the energy transition in road transport". Telephone interviews were conducted with 1,002 members of the German-speaking population in private households aged 18 and over.