Changing mobility patterns in the Netherlands during COVID-19 outbreak

Sander Van Der Drift*, Luc Wismans, Marie-josé Olde Kalter

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


The COVID-19 outbreak and associated measures taken had an enormous impact on society as well as a disruptive, but not necessarily negative, impact on mobility. The Ministry of Infrastructure and Water Management received the most recent insights from the Dutch Mobility Panel (DMP) on a weekly basis. These insights were used to monitor the travel behaviour and to analyse changes in the behaviour of different groups and usage of modes of transport during COVID-19. The analysis shows an enormous decrease in travel at the beginning of the implementation of the so-called ‘intelligent’ lockdown and gradual increase again towards comparable levels as before this ‘intelligent lockdown, although the distribution over time, motives and used modes has changed. It becomes clear that not everyone needs to travel during peak hours and commuter travel is also not the main reason for the increase in car usage. Furthermore, cycling has shown to be an alternative option for travellers and public transport is hardly used anymore. If it is possible to sustain the lower level of car usage and integrate public transport as an important alternative for travel again, the COVID-19 impact on mobility could have a substantial remaining positive impact on mobility.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-24
JournalJournal of location based services
Early online date11 Mar 2021
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print/First online - 11 Mar 2021

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