The Impact of COVID-19 Pandemic on the Resilience of Sustainable Mobility in Sicily

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The COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in unprecedented measures changing travel habits in many countries. Many users have started to prefer traveling by private cars, which is against the sustainability policies of the European cities. The necessity of gaining a deeper understanding of road users' travel habit changes, their feelings on public transport use, and their perceptions of using sustainable urban mobility modes has emerged for future transport planning. Considering these facts, the study in this paper aimed to investigate the influence of the COVID-19 pandemic on road users' perceptions, needs, and use of sustainable travel modes (i.e., public transport, walking, and cycling). An online survey was carried out during the period from March to May 2020 in the case study area, Sicily of Southern Italy. Regarding the population of the case study, the survey was representative, with 431 individuals. The survey included variables, namely gender, age, city of residence, private car ownership, walking and cycling frequency before and during the pandemic, public transport use frequency for leisure activities before and during the pandemic, need for remote working, and the stress and anxiety perception of using public transport during the pandemic. The analysis started with descriptive statistics and it was followed by correlation analysis in order to explore the characteristics of the dataset and relationship between variables. It was found that these were not statistically significantly correlated at a 95% confidence level. An ordinal regression model was applied for determining the predictions. The results suggested that women were less likely to walk during the pandemic than men. Participants were more likely to resume remote work even after the second phase in order to reduce their daily travel needs and keep their isolation. Participants have expressed a positive opinion on the use of micromobility during pandemic situations. These results can be considered as a basis for sustainable urban planning and a guide for decision-makers who aim to encourage the use of public transport, walking, cycling, and micromobility.


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COVID-19, sustainable mobility modes, transport resilience, ordinal regression model



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