Will modal shift occur from subway to other modes of transportation in the post-corona world in developing countries?

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date


Subject Area

mode - subway/metro, mode - car, place - asia, place - urban, ridership - behaviour, ridership - mode choice, planning - surveys


COVID-19 pandemic, Subway, Modal shift, Logit model


Developing countries are more fragile in the face of the crippling Covid-19 pandemic. Transportation is one of the major industries that has been hardly hit worldwide, and it is more worrying for these countries that already have challenges such as high modal share of private cars, air pollution, and high fatalities due to car accidents. This paper is one of its first kinds that studies the impact of this pandemic on the transportation of Tehran, the capital of Iran, which is one of the forefronts of the battle. In the first step and to get better insights from the travel behavior of passengers due to the pandemic, an online questionnaire is developed and distributed. Priorities for mode choice before and during the pandemic decrease and increase in the share of different modes and the impact of having a high-risk person in the family is studied. Subway had the most decrease and private cars had the highest increase. Hence, two logit models are developed to explain the variables that affect shifting away from the subway and shifting to private cars. Based on the results, a follow-up survey some months later and ridership trends of public transportation during the pandemic, four scenarios are envisaged for the post-corona world, the most probable one is highlighted and policies are recommended to better manage the situation.


Permission to publish the abstract has been given by Elsevier, copyright remains with them.


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