Pandemic impacts on public transport safety and stress perceptions in Nordic cities

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date


Subject Area

place - europe, place - urban, ridership - behaviour, ridership - perceptions, ridership - old people, ridership - young people, ridership - demand, planning - personal safety/crime, planning - travel demand management


Perceived safety, Stress, Public Transport, COVID-19, Pandemic, Mobility Scenarios


COVID-19 has brought severe disruption and demand suppression to mobility, especially to public transport (PT). A key challenge now is to restore trust that PT is safe again. This paper investigates pandemic impacts on PT safety and stress perceptions in three Nordic cities, drawing on 2018 and 2020 survey data analysed in structural equation models. While finding modest pandemic effects on safety and stress perceptions overall, strong heterogeneities exist across gender, age and geographic categories. Women perceive less PT safety and more stress, especially during the pandemic. Older adults reduced PT more during the pandemic and perceived no stress reduction like younger adults. Stockholm travellers feel less safe and more stressed than in Oslo and Bergen, whilst pandemic PT use and perceived safety reductions are least in Bergen. The paper discusses the long-term implications for theory and policy across multiple mobility scenarios accounting for modal change and travel demand uncertainties.


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


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