An evaluation of the impact of COVID-19 safety measures in public transit spaces on riders' Worry of virus contraction

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date


Subject Area

ridership - behaviour, ridership - perceptions, planning - personal safety/crime


COVID-19, Transit, Compliance, Enforcement, Perception, Worry


The coronavirus pandemic has brought about global change in travel behavior. Transit ridership volumes have dropped to record lows. Concerning environmental, health, and social consequences lie in store if transit networks are not able to regain a substantial portion of pre-pandemic users. Transit providers have implemented several interventions aimed at both slowing the spread of the virus and retaining riders as travel restrictions lift. While the effectiveness of these measures has been evaluated with respect to spread rate reduction, little consideration has been given to their impact on riders' feelings of worry regarding virus contraction. By deploying a photo-simulation approach in a randomized control trial, this study finds that level of compliance with safety measures and the conditions of transit spaces themselves significantly impact riders' levels of worry. Given these findings, a series of recommendations are made regarding compliance practices that are expected to lessen rider worry regarding the risks of COVID-19 infection.


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


Transport Policy Home Page: