University of Twente Student Theses


A global pandemic & travel behaviour the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on the travel behaviour in The Netherlands

Chakravarty, Aparupa (2021) A global pandemic & travel behaviour the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on the travel behaviour in The Netherlands.

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Abstract:The COVID-19 pandemic has irreparably changed the way we live our lives. For the past two years, the “new normal” has been about social distancing, wearing masks, and limiting our movement. This study focuses on investigating the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on travel behaviour in the Netherlands. The overall research aim is to identify the changes in travel behaviour due to the COVID-19 pandemic through the timeline of the Covid-related public transport policies introduced in the Netherlands. The specific research objectives and related research questions are: 1. Identify changes in the use of public transport in the Netherlands in the different phases of the pandemic. 2. Determine the changes in travel behaviour before, during and after the pandemic. 3. Provide policy recommendations. Multiple methods have been used to conduct this research. A systematic literature review was done on travel behaviour, travel behaviour and its relation to past pandemics/epidemics, effects of COVID-19 on travel behaviour in the Netherlands, and a review of various grey literature. Furthermore, an analysis was carried out for the ODiN 2019 (Onderweg in Nederland, CBS) to identify the trip purposes, trip frequencies and mode choices. In order to collect data, interviews with public transport operators (n=4), a focus group discussion (n=9), and a digital survey (n=170) with residents of the Netherlands were undertaken. Additionally, data acquired of the total number of check-ins on public transport between 2019 - 2021 from the company Translink was also analysed. It was discovered that that the number of check-ins reduced significantly between January 2019 and April 2021, which also was a result of passengers having an apprehension towards travelling in public transport. The public transport providers faced a number of challenges while managing bus and train services. The frequency of services provided was reduced, which led to huge financial losses. Due to the social distancing and work from home norms, trip frequencies for all trip purposes were significantly reduced. Furthermore, it was observed that with the decrease in preference for public transport, bike usage and walking significantly increased as people wanted to maintain a healthy and active lifestyle. In some cases, even car use increased. It can be concluded from this study that the COVID-19 pandemic has brought along many changes in every individual’s life. The changes in travel behaviour that have been identified from this research provide an insight into what structural changes will be observed in future travel behaviour. As the entire situation of the pandemic is extremely dynamic, it widens the scope for future research and gives other researchers an opportunity to study this phenomenon further.
Item Type:Essay (Master)
Faculty:ITC: Faculty of Geo-information Science and Earth Observation
Programme:Geoinformation Science and Earth Observation MSc (75014)
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