COVID-19 passenger transport measures and their impacts

Ruth Shortall*, Niek Mouter, Bert Van Wee

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

11 Citations (Scopus)
73 Downloads (Pure)


Governments all over the world have had to implement various policy measures in order to curb the spread of COVID-19, impacting many people's lives and livelihoods. Combinations of measures targeting the transportation sector and other aspects of social life have been implemented with varying degrees of success in different countries. This paper proposes a classification of COVID-19 measures aimed at passenger mobility. We distinguish the categories “avoidance of travel”, “modal shift” and “improvement of quality”. Per category, we distinguish different types of measures and effects (social, economic and environmental). Next, we review the literature on COVID-19 measures for passenger mobility, after which we discuss the policy relevance of our findings and propose a research agenda. We conclude that broad or integral assessments of measures on all socially relevant effects are rare. Also, few studies exist to determine the effects of individual measures and deal with combinations of measures instead. Studies on social or economic effects focus on partial direct effects (e.g. turnover of the transport sector, effect of mobility measures on commuter traffic) and do not elaborate on indirect effects (e.g. changes in household expenditure, stress levels). Finally, there is a greater focus in the literature on intermediary health indicators (e.g. travel behaviour) but less on the actual spread of COVID-19 or indeed on other indirect health effects of measures (e.g. due to air pollution, more exercise, etc).

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)441-466
Number of pages26
JournalTransport Reviews
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2021


  • Corona
  • COVID19
  • passenger transport
  • policy
  • social impact‌


Dive into the research topics of 'COVID-19 passenger transport measures and their impacts'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this