Publication details

Travel behaviour changes during the pandemic: Prague-Pilsen rail case study

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Year of publication 2022
Type Article in Periodical
Magazine / Source Review of Economic Perspectives – Národohospodářský obzor
MU Faculty or unit

Faculty of Science

Keywords COVID-19; public transport; travel behaviour; human mobility; railway
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Description The COVID-19 pandemic has affected many aspects of our everyday lives. Governments have taken numerous measures to contain the spread of the pandemic, which has had a direct impact on daily mobility, modal choice and the function of public transport. This study uses quantitative and qualitative data to describe how the pandemic influenced travel on the Prague-Pilsen (Praha-Plzen) railway line. The results of the case study on the Prague-Pilsen railway line are consistent with experiences in other countries. 38% decrease in passenger numbers was found between 2019 and 2020. Although numbers are increasing again, they still have not reached the pre-pandemic level. The number of connections has also decreased by a third on average (2019 to 2020). We also conducted in-depth interviews with train passengers on the above-mentioned route. Two-thirds of passengers stated that the frequency of their journeys had not been affected by the pandemic. However, like the other participants, they described other changes caused by the pandemic. Fear of infection played an important role, and the inconvenience of overcrowding was mentioned several times. The switch from buses to trains was mentioned, as was the fact that more and more travellers prefer to travel first class. In some cases, changes in the temporality of trips were also documented. The survey suggests that respondents travel less frequently by train for systematic, functional, health or social reasons.
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