Impacts of COVID-19 on Transport Modes and Mobility Behaviour: Analysis of Public Discourse in Twitter

This study proposes a framework to analyze public discourse in Twitter to understand the impacts of COVID-19 on transport modes and mobility behaviour. It also identifies reopening challenges and potential reopening strategies that are discussed by the public. First, the study collects 15,776 tweets that relate to personal opinions on transportation services posted in between May 15 to June 15, 2020. Next, it applies text mining and topic modelling technique to the tweets to determine the prominent themes, terms, and topics in those discussions to understand public feelings, behaviour and broader sentiments about the changes brought about by COVID-19 on the transportation systems. Results reveal that people are avoiding public transport and shifting to using a private car, bicycle, or walking. Bicycle sales have increased remarkably but car sales have declined. Cycling and walking, telecommuting, and online schools are identified as possible solutions to COVID-19 mobility problems and to reduce car usage with an aim to tackle traffic congestion in the post COVID-19 world. People appreciated government decision for funding allocation to public transport, as well as, asked for the reshaping, restoring and safe reopening of transit systems. Protecting transit workers, riders, shop customers and staff, and office employees are identified as crucial reopening challenges, whereas mask wearing, phased reopening, and social distancing are proposed as effective reopening strategies. This framework can be used as a tool by decision makers to enable a holistic understanding of public opinions on transportation services during COVID-19 and formulate policies for a safe reopening.


  • English

Media Info

  • Media Type: Digital/other
  • Features: Figures; References; Tables;
  • Pagination: 19p

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01763791
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Report/Paper Numbers: TRBAM-21-00937
  • Files: TRIS, TRB, ATRI
  • Created Date: Dec 23 2020 11:11AM