The Impact of COVID-19 Pandemic on Public Transport: A Mobility Survey in Naples (South of Italy)

Ilaria Henke1, *, Francesca Pagliara1, Armando Cartenì2, Pierluigi Coppola3
1 Department of Civil, Architectural and Environmental Engineering, University of Naples, Federico II, Naples, Italy
2 Department of Engineering, University of Campania “Luigi Vanvitelli”, Aversa (Caserta), Italy
3 Department of Mechanical Engineering, Politecnico di Milano, Milan, Italy

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© 2023 Henke et al.

open-access license: This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International Public License (CC-BY 4.0), a copy of which is available at: This license permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

* Address correspondence to this author at the Department of Civil, Architectural and Environmental Engineering, University of Naples, Federico II, Naples, Italy; E-mail:



The COVID-19 outbreak has not only had a fatal impact on people's lives, but it has also threatened the entire world of transportation. The number of trips, the mobility habits and the users’ mode choices from the beginning of the pandemic has changed significantly over the last year.


This manuscript analyzed the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on the users’ mobility choices following the pandemic phases during “new normality” was analysed. The objective of this research is twofold: i) to estimate and evaluate the changes in user's mode choices and environmental impact; ii) to identify mobility policies aimed at fostering the use of local Public Transport (PT).


A Stated Preference survey was carried out during the COVID-19 pandemic in the city of Naples (South of Italy): i) to assess users’ mobility habits before the COVID-19 pandemic; ii) to evaluate users’ choice of Public Transport after the COVID-19 pandemic period; iii) to identify the attributes related to users’ reluctance (e.g., fear of contagion, service uncertainty) to continue using public transport and the main characteristics that Public Transport should have to be perceived as a safe transport alternative.


The results show that 56% of users would be willing to wait up to 20 minutes longer for the bus and train to ensure social distancing, especially on reliable info mobility.


Moreover, 6% of the users, who previously travelled with local PT, would shift to private transport. This means that in the province of Naples, there would be more than 54 million trips by private car with the subsequent effects on congestion and environmental pollution in one month.

Keywords: SARS-CoV-2 COVID-19, Pandemic mobility, Transportation, Public transport, Mobility habit, A mobility survey.