Impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on public transport users

Danique 2

Danique Ton is a part-time Postdoc researcher in the active mode lab and smart public transport lab at TU Delft. Her work revolves around travel behaviour of sustainable modes (e.g. walking, cycling, and public transport). Both methodology, such as discrete choice modelling, and empirical applications are at the core of her research. Next to her work at TU Delft, she works as a part-time researcher at the Dutch Railways (NS), where she focuses on access and egress of stations.

Title: Teleworking during COVID-19 in the Netherlands: Understanding behaviour, attitudes, and future intentions of train travellers

Abstract: With the arrival of COVID-19 in the Netherlands in Spring 2020 and the start of the “intelligent lockdown”, daily life changed drastically. The working population was urged to telework as much as possible. However, not everyone had a suitable job for teleworking or liked teleworking. From a mobility perspective, teleworking was considered a suitable means to alleviate travel. Even after the pandemic it can (continue to) reduce pressure on the mobility system during peak hours, thereby improving efficiency and level of service of transport services. Additionally, this could reduce transport externalities, such as emissions and unsafety. The structural impact from teleworking offers opportunities, but also challenges for the planning and operations of public transport. The aim of this study is to better understand teleworking during and after COVID-19 among train travellers, to support operators and authorities in their policy making and design. We study the telework behaviour, attitude towards teleworking, and future intentions through a longitudinal data collection. By applying a latent class cluster analysis, we identify different types of teleworkers, varying in their frequency of teleworking, attitude towards teleworking, intentions to the future, socio-demographics and employer attitude. In this presentation, I will highlight our findings and their implications for both PT operator and employer/authority perspective.


Sanmay Shelat is a final-year PhD candidate at Delft University of Technology. His doctoral research combines choice analysis, decision theory, and (big) data analysis in the context of transit networks to analyse traveller behaviour under uncertainty. Besides this, he also works on analysing the combination of active modes and public transport modes. Sanmay has a background in civil engineering and holds a MSc in Transport and Planning (hons., cum laude) from Delft University of Technology. For his master thesis, he developed an integrated agent-based pedestrian behaviour model with a Markov-chain activity-based model for medium-term decisions.

Title: Avoiding the Crowd: How do passengers trade-off time and crowding in the age of COVID-19?

Abstract: Public transport is intuitively a major potential source for transmission of COVID-19. Although, most governments around the world initially imposed restrictions on public transport, in the absence of a clear pathway to eliminating the virus, they soon cautiously re-opened services. Under these extraordinary circumstances, operators need to account for changes in traveller behaviour, which, given the heightened (awareness of the) risk of infection, may focus on factors contributing to exposure level and duration. Most importantly, what is an acceptable level of service for travellers now? Furthermore, how will travellers respond to future changes in infection rates and crowdedness on PT vehicles? Results from a stated preferences survey conducted during the first infection wave in the Netherlands (May-June 2020) will be presented to answer these questions for Dutch train travellers.

For access to the Zoom meeting, please contact Dr Niels van Oort (

Looking forward to seeing you all.


    March 2, 2021
    8:00 am - 12:00 pm