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Who is returning to public transport for non-work trips after COVID-19? Evidence from older citizens’ smart cards in the UK’s second largest city region

Long, Alfie; Carney, Ffion; Kandt, Jens; (2023) Who is returning to public transport for non-work trips after COVID-19? Evidence from older citizens’ smart cards in the UK’s second largest city region. Journal of Transport Geography , 107 , Article 103529. 10.1016/j.jtrangeo.2023.103529. Green open access

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Abstract

Harnessing a unique data source – longitudinal travel smartcard data linked to passenger demographics from 2019 to 2022 – we use methods of survival analysis to model the recovery of public transport patronage among 183,891 senior citizens resident in the West Midlands metropolitan region in the United Kingdom. Comparing pre and peri-pandemic patronage, we identify pronounced social and spatial inequalities in the speed of return to public transport. We find that male, younger and non-White passengers are more likely to return to public transport as soon as movement restrictions were lifted, whereas passengers from White ethnic background and affluent areas do not return to public transport within the first year after the outbreak. Pronounced social inequalities persist into the middle of 2021, and only thence they began to attenuate as part of a wider return to public transport among passengers post retirement age. In 2022, 80% of these passengers have returned to public transport but the frequency of use has remained lower than prior to the pandemic. We discuss implications for transport policy and planning.

Type: Article
Title: Who is returning to public transport for non-work trips after COVID-19? Evidence from older citizens’ smart cards in the UK’s second largest city region
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1016/j.jtrangeo.2023.103529
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jtrangeo.2023.103529
Language: English
Additional information: © 2023 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Ltd. under a Creative Commons license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/).
Keywords: COVID-19, Public transport, Social exclusion, Sustainable mobility, Travel demand
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of the Built Environment
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of the Built Environment > Centre for Advanced Spatial Analysis
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10162682
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