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Analysis of the Relationship between the Characteristics of the Areas of Influence of Bus Stops and the Decrease in Ridership during COVID-19 Lockdowns

Yaiza Montero-Lamas (), Alfonso Orro (), Margarita Novales () and Francisco-Alberto Varela-García ()
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Yaiza Montero-Lamas: Group of Railways and Transportation Engineering, Departament of Civil Engineering, ETS Ingeniería de Caminos, Canales y Puertos, Universidade da Coruña, Campus de Elviña, 15071 A Coruña, Spain
Alfonso Orro: Group of Railways and Transportation Engineering, Departament of Civil Engineering, ETS Ingeniería de Caminos, Canales y Puertos, Universidade da Coruña, Campus de Elviña, 15071 A Coruña, Spain
Margarita Novales: Group of Railways and Transportation Engineering, Departament of Civil Engineering, ETS Ingeniería de Caminos, Canales y Puertos, Universidade da Coruña, Campus de Elviña, 15071 A Coruña, Spain
Francisco-Alberto Varela-García: Advanced Visualization and Cartography Group, Departament of Civil Engineering, ETS Ingeniería de Caminos, Canales y Puertos, Universidade da Coruña, Campus de Elviña, 15071 A Coruña, Spain

Sustainability, 2022, vol. 14, issue 7, 1-19

Abstract: This study aimed to investigate the relationship between the characteristics of the areas of influence of bus stops and the decrease in ridership during COVID-19 lockdowns and subsequent initial reopening processes. A novel GIS methodology was developed to determine these characteristics from a large amount of data with high spatial detail and accurately assign them to individual bus stops. After processing the data, several multiple linear regression models were developed to determine the variables related to different activities and changes in mobility during lockdown that may explain the variation in demand owing to the COVID-19 pandemic. The characteristics related to population and land use were also studied. The proposed methodology can be used to improve transit planning during exceptional situations, by strengthening public transport in areas with a predictably higher transit demand, instead of uniformly decreasing the availability of public transport services, promoting sustainable mobility. The efficiency of the proposed methodology was shown by performing a case study that analysed the variation in bus demand in A Coruña, Spain. The areas with the highest sustained demand were those with low inhabitant incomes, a high population density, and significant proportions of land use dedicated to hospitals, offices, or supermarkets.

Keywords: COVID-19; GIS; bus stop patronage; transit planning; urban mobility; land use (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: O13 Q Q0 Q2 Q3 Q5 Q56 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2022
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