Risk Perceptions of COVID-19 Transmission in Different Travel Modes
Updated: Oct 31, 2022
Journal: Transportation Research Interdisciplinary Perspectives, Elsevier
Niaz Mahmud Zafri
Bhuiyan Monwar Alam
Abstract: COVID-19 pandemic has caused adverse impacts on different aspects of life around the globe, including travelers’ mode choice behavior. To make their travel safe, transportation planners and policymakers need to understand people’s perceptions of the risk of COVID-19 transmission in different travel modes. This study aimed to estimate mode-wise perceived risk of viral transmission and identify the factors that influenced the perceived risk in Bangladesh. The study used a five-point Likert scale to measure the perceived risk of COVID-19 transmission in each travel mode. Using ordinal logistic regression models, the study explored the factors that influenced the perceived risk of COVID-19 transmission in different travel modes. The study found that people perceived a very high risk of viral transmission in public transport (bus), moderate risk in shared modes (rickshaw, auto-rickshaw, ridesharing), and very low risk in private modes (private car, motorcycle/scooter, walking, cycling). Such high-risk perception of viral transmission in public transport and shared modes might lead to a modal shift to private modes, which would worsen urban transport problems and undermine sustainable transportation goals. The study also found that socio-economic factors (gender, age, income) significantly influenced perceived risks in all travel modes. Contrarily, psychological factors (worry, care, and trust) were significant only for public and shared modes, but not for private modes. Lastly, travel behavior-related factors influenced perceived risk in shared and private modes.