The outbreak of the novel CORONA virus (Sars-CoV-2) and its rapid global spread pose major challenges to the world. Governments around the world have taken measures to restrict social contacts and the mobility of their populations to reduce the speed of the virus' spread and to prevent collapses of national health systems. Also in Germany restrictions were imposed at different points in time such as limiting the number of permitted social contacts outside of one's own household, introducing night-time curfews, shutting down large parts of retail shops, schools, and public recreational facilities, or restricting the radius of movement to 15 kilometres around the place of residence.
The project COROTRANS examines the short-, medium- and long-term consequences of these measures on passenger transport, freight transport (especially logistics) and the transport system as a whole in Germany. Different phases of the pandemic, such as the lockdown in March and April 2020, the easing of many restrictions in June and July 2020, and the closure of large parts of the retail and leisure sectors from November 2020, are considered separately.
The project looks at many different areas of transport and mobility. For example, the effects of the pandemic on the lengths and purposes of trips in Germany as well as peoples’ changed preferences on the choice of means of transport are analysed. Likewise, the consequences of increased online shopping on logistics and freight transport are investigated. Finally, local infrastructure measures implemented in individual cities to enable safe and sustainable mobility even during the pandemic are analysed, too.
The objectives of the project are to analyse
1) the mobility behaviour of the German population at different times of the pandemic,
2) the impact on freight transport and especially logistics,
3) the change in infrastructure utilisation with regard to the use of different means of transport in passenger and freight transport,
4) the effects of political measures on mobility,
5) infrastructure adaptations and planning processes that can contribute to a resilient city with sustainable urban mobility.
Many different sources of data are analysed in the COROTRANS project to portray an as much as possible accurate of picture of the impact of the CORONA pandemic on the transport system in Germany. This includes quantitative surveys conducted in different phases of the pandemic on the basis of a panel that is representative of the population in Germany as well as the conduct of focus group discussions. In addition, qualitative interviews are held with freight forwarders, logistics enterprises, city and transport planning experts, and decision-makers in German municipalities. Finally, GPS-based Floating Car Data, webscraped data on bicycle and passenger counts and positioning data on electric kick scooters and shared bicycles from public application programming interfaces are analysed.
The insights gained on the basis of this data are used to adapt a transport demand model for passenger transport so that it reflects mobility behaviour during the CORONA pandemic. Different scenarios are modelled to evaluate the impact of political measures such as the shutdown of recreational facilities, schools, and retail shops or a higher of people working from remote on the transport sector.
The model outputs and the insights from the analyses of the empirical data are used to develop policy recommendations that aim at laying the foundation for sustainable mobility in the longer term already during the pandemic.
COROTRANS is carried out as an independent part of the project „Transport und Klima“ (TraK) of the German Aerospace Center (DLR).
The Institute of Transport Research conducts the project.
from 04/2020 to 12/2021