Our travel habits during Corona – Cycling is increasing

Sustainable transport

The restrictions and guidelines that were introduced in Sweden in mid-March had direct effects on travel that were so extensive and clear that they were immediately impactful to everyone.

bike riding during pandemic

On the roads, traffic jams decreased, public transport saw drastically fewer passengers resulting in full cycle paths in big cities. During the summer, with vacations and eased restrictions, travel slowly increased to near-normal levels. Since summer’s end, travel rates have fallen again. Throughout this period, we followed these changes with the help of participants tracking their travel habits with the TravelVu app.

With this data from, we can see how travel behaviour has changed over time. We have compared travel data before Covid-19 (February 1 to March 9, 2020) with the resulting post-outbreak periods.

Shorter trips after summer holidays

The period after mid-August is characterized by shorter trips compared to longer trips during the summer, when the distances for both shopping trips and leisure activities increased significantly. Work travel first increased significantly in connection with school / work start and then decreased slightly again, which may be an effect of “runny noses”, which normally come with the start of term, this lead many to stay home according to the recommendations.

färdsätt under corona 201118

Increased cycling – even in free time

Cycling has increased throughout the period, but since it coincided with summer, a season that normally sees increased cycling in Sweden, it is difficult to determine the extent of the influence that the pandemic has had as a direct factor in the increase in cycling. When compared with the same periods in 2018 and 2019, however, we have higher figures for travel length by bicycle per person in 2020, which indicates that cycling has in fact increased. Cycling figures continued to rise as we entered Autumn. The data shows that of those who bike, biking for leisure and shopping errands has increased significantly.

cykel ärende under corona 201118

After summer, public transport travel has also increased again.

> Read more about the study (in swedish)

The results are based on data from a limited number of people and should therefore be interpreted with caution. Despite this, we can state that changes in the number of travel-free days, the number of trips per person and day, and the length of travel per person per day fell by a statistically significantly level (p <0.05) when restrictions were introduced.

Do you want to help?

You can help us understand changes in how we travel under Covid-19 by contributing data on your travel habits.  The more data we have, the more valid the data set. In addition to contributing you will get a better idea of your own travel habits. Download TravelVu to your iPhone or Android. When you start the app, select the survey “Donate data”. Travel habits data will be used for research and Increased understanding of the shifts happening in travel habits. We will continue to publish results on travel habits during Covid-19 here so that you and others can take part. Thank you for helping!

More information

Learn more about TravelVu. You can also contact Lena Smidfelt Rosqvist, +46 10 456 56 10.