Researchers explore effects of COVID-19 on urban mobility

Dive Brief:
Researchers from the University of Tennessee at Knoxville (UT) and Portland State University (PSU) are launching a study to explore the impacts of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) on shared bike, shared scooter and transit systems in Nashville, TN and Portland, OR.

The study will survey several thousand people for about six months, to gather information on rider behaviors amid COVID-19, and rider preferences as cities move into recovery. Data from the semi-regular surveys will be fed into a live dashboard available for the researchers and their partners to analyze as the study takes place, Chris Cherry, researcher and engineering professor at UT, told Smart Cities Dive.

The researchers partnered with Nashville’s WeGO transit agency; the Portland-area’s TriMet transit agency; the City of Portland’s Bureau of Transportation (PBOT); micromobility operators Bird and Spin; Portland’s bike-share system BIKETOWN; and the Transit app to better share data and assess holistic mobility trends in the respective cities.