Travel behaviour changes during times of COVID-19: A mixed methods research to the effects of COVID-19 on travel behaviour in the Netherlands
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This study provides new insights on travel behaviour changes by researching the effects of COVID-19 on travel behaviour in the Netherlands. The main objective of this research is to test to what extent perceived risk, knowledge, and availability of telecommunication influence travel behaviour during times of COVID-19. The research adds to available knowledge about the effects of the spread of a life-threatening contagious disease on travel behaviour. This was done by using mixed methods: the sample consisted of 145 surveys and 10 structured interviews which focused on activities done during the crisis of COVID-19. The analyses show that travel behaviour changed due to COVID-19 as half of the total amount of activities were discontinued. The only type of activity that continued as usual is grocery shopping, while work- and education-related activities mostly continued at a different location. Furthermore, due to the perceived risk of getting the virus, public transport was used less and was often substituted by other modes of transport. To conclude, travel behaviour has changed due to COVID-19 and these changes are due to the perceived risk of the virus and the availability of telecommunication. Compared to the role of perceived risk and telecommunication, knowledge of the virus appears to have less influence on travel behaviour. It should be noted that the majority of the sample is highly educated which could influence the findings of the research when comparing them to other populations. Further research can give more insights on travel behaviour changes during different medical crises or focus on other types of travel behaviour.