Travel mode preferences among German commuters over the course of COVID-19 pandemic

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date


Subject Area

place - europe, planning - methods, planning - surveys, ridership - mode choice, ridership - commuting, ridership - modelling


COVID-19 pandemic, Mobility survey, Longitudinal analysis, Travel mode, Conditional logit model, Public transport


The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the way how the people live, work and move, and naturally the transport sector became one of the most affected by this global crisis. Beyond the sudden fall of mobility at the beginning of the pandemic, it is important to understand how people are regaining trust in travelling, even if it is still unpredictable if and when the transport sector will recover to the pre-pandemic levels. This study focuses on the analysis of commuting trips and the changes of travel mode preferences over the first eight months of the pandemic in Germany. A survey with an orthogonal design based on sets of cards containing different transport mode alternatives and attributes was conducted in three waves (April, June, and October 2020). The individual characteristics and the preferences of around 4800 commuters were collected through the survey and modelled using a conditional logit approach. The results show that commuters have regained some trust on public transport since the April–May 2020 lockdown, but this has occurred at a slow pace. The reduction of public transport ticket fares can be the most effective strategy to recover some of the users lost to other modes.


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


Transport Policy Home Page: