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A spatiotemporal analysis of the impact of lockdown and coronavirus on London’s bicycle hire scheme: from response to recovery to a new normal

Gao, X; Chen, H; Haworth, J; (2023) A spatiotemporal analysis of the impact of lockdown and coronavirus on London’s bicycle hire scheme: from response to recovery to a new normal. Geo-Spatial Information Science 10.1080/10095020.2023.2233570. (In press). Green open access

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Abstract

The coronavirus pandemic that started in 2019 has had wide-ranging impacts on many aspects of people’s daily lives. At the peak of the outbreak, lockdown measures and social distancing changed the ways in which cities function. In particular, they had profound impacts on urban transportation systems, with public transport being shut down in many cities. Bike share systems (BSS) were widely reported as having experienced an increase in demand during the early stages of the pandemic before returning to pre-pandemic levels. However, the studies published to date focus mainly on the first year of the pandemic, when various waves saw continual relaxing and reintroductions of restrictions. Therefore, they fall short of exploring the role of BSS as we move to the post-pandemic period. To address this gap, this study uses origin-destination (O-D) flow data from London’s Santander Cycle Hire Scheme from 2019–2021 to analyze the changing use of BSS throughout the first two years of the pandemic, from lockdown to recovery. A Gaussian mixture model (GMM) is used to cluster 2019 BSS trips into three distinct clusters based on their duration and distance. The clusters are used as a reference from which to measure spatial and temporal change in 2020 and 2021. In agreement with previous research, BSS usage was found to have declined by nearly 30% during the first lockdown. Usage then saw a sharp increase as restrictions were lifted, characterized by longer, less direct trips throughout the afternoon rather than typical peak commuting trips. Although the aggregate number of BSS trips appeared to return to normal by October 2020, this was against the backdrop of continuing restrictions on international travel and work from home orders. The period between July and December 2021 was the first period that all government restrictions were lifted. During this time, BSS trips reached higher levels than in 2019. Spatio-temporal analysis indicates a shift away from the traditional morning and evening peak to a more diffuse pattern of working hours. The results indicate that the pandemic may have had sustained impacts on travel behavior, leading to a “new normal” that reflects different ways of working.

Type: Article
Title: A spatiotemporal analysis of the impact of lockdown and coronavirus on London’s bicycle hire scheme: from response to recovery to a new normal
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1080/10095020.2023.2233570
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1080/10095020.2023.2233570
Language: English
Additional information: This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License. The images or other third-party material in this article are included in the Creative Commons license, unless indicated otherwise in the credit line; if the material is not included under the Creative Commons license, users will need to obtain permission from the license holder to reproduce the material. To view a copy of this license, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/
Keywords: COVID-19; micro-mobility; restrictive measures; bicycle share system
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of Engineering Science
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of the Built Environment
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of Engineering Science > Dept of Civil, Environ and Geomatic Eng
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/10174835
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