Abstract 02JSSP022022

First Year of COVID-19. The Impact of Pandemic Waves on Public Transport Usage in Cluj-Napoca, Romania

Titus-Cristian MAN1, Camelia-Florina ANDOR2, Elena-Manuela BÎRSĂNUC*3
* Corresponding author
1 Babeș-Bolyai University, Faculty of Geography, Department of Regional Geography and Territorial Planning, Cluj-Napoca, ROMANIA
2 Babeș-Bolyai University, Faculty of Mathematics and Computer Science, Cluj-Napoca, ROMANIA
3 Babeș-Bolyai University, Faculty of Geography, Doctoral School of Geography, Cluj-Napoca, ROMANIA
E-mail: titus.man@ubbcluj.ro; ORCID: 0000-0001-9331-054X
E-mail: camelia.andor@ubbcluj.ro; ORCID: 0000-0002-1124-7805
E-mail: elena.birsanuc@ubbcluj.ro; ORCID: 0000-0003-0162-474X
Pages: 71-79. DOI: 10.24193/JSSP.2022.2.02

Cite: Man T.-C., Andor C.-F., Bîrsănuc E.-M. (2022), First Year of COVID-19. The Impact of Pandemic Waves on Public Transport Usage in Cluj-Napoca, Romania. Journal of Settlements and Spatial Planning, 13(2), 71-79. DOI: 10.24193/JSSP.2022.2.02

Abstract. The global pandemic of COVID-19 has had a significant influence on public transportation usage and service provision. As many countries begin to return to normality, new public transportation planning standards are being developed. Considering these new standards, there is a critical shortage of understanding the possible impact of the pandemic on public transportation systems and models that can help service planning face these challenges. This paper analyzes data collected in Cluj-Napoca (Romania), from late-February 2020 to late-March 2021. As local authorities began to remove restrictions aimed at limiting the propagation of the SARS-CoV-2 virus, the study investigates the travel changes in various modes of transportation, travel plans, and user categories. Results confirm that low-income groups depend on public transit the most; consequently, they had considerably lower declines in usage during the COVID-19 pandemic. This study also identifies various daily average patterns of demand for public transportation in Cluj-Napoca throughout each stage of the pandemic. All of these data contribute to extending the global understanding about COVID-19’s influence on transport usage by comparing these outcomes with the ones from other cities. They offer pertinent information for transportation authorities to develop adaptation policies to a major event like this pandemic. Although there is still apprehension about using public transportation, the collected data show that the regular public transport users from before the pandemic have been gradually returning to their transport of choice once the restrictions have been relaxed (March-May 2020).

K e y w o r d s: COVID-19, transport ridership, ETL, transport user type, card validation, urban public transport