We travel shorter distances and less frequently since the outbreak of the Corona crisis

Sustainable transport

Our trips have changed a great deal since the outbreak of the Corona pandemic, but shopping trips have not decreased.

Distance travelled 200526

Updated 26 May 2020

With data from the travel survey app TravelVu we can follow how the travel behaviour changes over time. We have compared travel data before Covid-19 (1 February to 9 March 2020) with different periods of time after the outbreak.

  • There are more travel-free days now than before the outbreak of Covid-19, although they are fewer now (16%) than they were during the first half of April (23%).
  • During the days we travel, we make fewer trips. Before Covid-19 each person made an average of 4.7 trips per day. The corresponding number is now about 4 trips per person and day, with an increasing trend since Easter.
  • The number of trips with public transport is still at a low level; only a couple of per cent of the trips are made by public transport.
  • Trips to work and school as well as leisure trips are the ones that have decreased the most compared to the situation prior to Covid-19. Work trips and leisure trips decreased by about one third when the restrictions were enforced. Thereafter, the number of work trips continued to decrease further until the first half of April. Since then the trips to work seem to increase again. However, we are still certainly making fewer work trips than before Covid-19 (about 25 per cent fewer). Leisure trips have also increased slightly, but we are still making about 25 per cent fewer leisure trips than prior to Covid-19.
  • The distance travelled per person and day has decreased significantly; it more than halved during the first month (excluding travel by air). During March, trips by both public transport and by car decreased with about 14 km per person and day. For the latest time period studied, distance travelled – but not the number of trips – by public transport har increased slightly to about 2.5 km per person and day. The distance travelled by car has also increased but is still around 4 km shorter per person and day than before Covid-19. The average distance travelled per trip has decreased from about 11 km before Covid-19 to as low as 6 km per trip in March. Currently the average distance travelled per trip is nearly 8 km (excluding travel by air).

The results are based on data from a limited number of people and should therefore be interpreted with caution. Nevertheless, we can say that changes in the number of travel-free days, number of trips per person and day and trip lengths per person and day have all been found to be statistically significant (p<0,05).

Read more about the study (in Swedish)

Want to help?

Would you like to contribute data so that we can better understand how we travel during Covid-19? And in the process get a better overview of your travel habits? Download the app TravelVu to your iPhone or Android. When you launch the app, select the survey “Donate data”. The travel data will be used for research and give us an increased understanding of the significance of travel habits for a sustainable transport system. Of course, we care about your integrity. We will continue to publish results about travel habits during Covid-19 here so that you and others can access them. Thank you for your contribution!

Want to learn more?https://www.travelvu.app/integrity

Please contact Emeli Adell, head of business area Future Transport Systems