Beyond fear and abandonment: Public transport resilience during the COVID-19 pandemic

Louise Sträuli, Wojciech Keblowski, Tauri Tuvikene, Wladimir Sgibnev, Peter Timko, Marcus Finbom

Onderzoeksoutput: Articlepeer review

5 Citaten (Scopus)
56 Downloads (Pure)


The outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic challenged urban public transport systems to maintain accessibility and service for daily users while adapting to local health and safety regulations. Developing sustainable and resilient urban policies under such crisis conditions requires understanding the different feelings, experiences and expectations of passengers and how these relate to socio-economic inequalities. Drawing on a mixed-method study in Berlin (Germany), Brussels (Belgium), Stockholm (Sweden) and Tallinn (Estonia), we show how the pandemic outbreak has changed both who uses public transport and how users experience their journeys. Challenging the narratives that portray public transport as a place of fear, we find that remaining passengers assess the risk of contagion lower than those who avoided it completely. We argue that promoting resilient public transport requires policies that address the needs of passengers relying on public transport services. Therefore, we question the current policies under the sustainable mobility paradigm for not taking sufficient account of the feelings, experiences and emotions and particularly of transport-dependent users.

Originele taal-2English
Pagina's (van-tot)1-9
Aantal pagina's9
TijdschriftTransportation Research Interdisciplinary Perspectives
StatusPublished - dec 2022

Bibliografische nota

Funding Information:
This work is part of the project “Public Transport as Public Space in European Cities: narrating, experiencing, contesting (PUTSPACE)”, which is financially supported by the Joint Research Programme HERA ( ), co-financed by AKA, BMBF via DLR-PT, ETAg and the European Commission through Horizon 2020 under grant agreement No 649307.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022 The Author(s)

Copyright 2022 Elsevier B.V., All rights reserved.


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