On-demand transport

A tool to keep people mobile during the coronavirus pandemic

Public transport is a sector highly affected by the pandemic. In our previous study Beyond the immediate crisis:The SARS-CoV-2 pandemic and public transport strategy we identified integration of multimodal transport services as an important element of the strategy to cope with corona. In this paper, we partnered with Shotl – an on-demand transport provider – to better understand how different services are responding to this situation, analyzing in detail the use of on-demand services in the suburbs of Barcelona during the first weeks of the crisis.

Our core findings are:

  • During the first weeks of the crisis ridership for regular and on-demand bus services dropped by 95%. On-demand mobility recovered more quickly and reached 87% of its previous demand by the beginning of July while regular bus services in the same area recovered up to 45% by that point.
  • Demand from commuters decreased due to the shift to remote working.
  • When traditional public transport was suspended, users shifted to on-demand services.
  • In neighborhoods where mobility is driven by trips to school, users continued to travel for other purposes.

Read the full paper here

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