Corona has massively changed mobility. What is temporary and what is long-term?
It is too early for scientifically based statements. The snapshot shows: The share of private transport has risen significantly. In a survey shortly before Easter, we found that people felt more comfortable on bicycles or in cars than on public transport. We are planning two more surveys by the end of the year. Only then will we know whether behavior and attitudes towards mobility will change in the long term.
How likely do you think it is that public transport will suffer permanent damage?
We don’t know. In big cities we observe that the buses and trains are gradually filling up again. This also has to do with the fact that many households in the conurbations do not have a car. In Berlin, for example, the figure is two thirds of households. The distances to work in particular are often too long to travel by bicycle – so people are dependent on alternatives such as the S-Bahn rapid transit railway system. But as I said, the return happens very slowly. It will be quite a while before public transport has as many users as it did before corona. Until then, companies will suffer from high losses of revenue and additional costs for hygiene measures.