Exploring the travel behavior changes caused by the COVID-19 crisis: A case study for a developing country

Nafis Anwari, Md.Tawkir Ahmed, Md.Rakibul Islam, Md. Hadiuzzaman, Shohel Amin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This study aims to examine the extent to which SARS-Cov-2 and associated governmental interventions to mitigate virus transmission has affected daily travel decisions in Bangladesh. A questionnaire survey was used to record opinions of respondents hailing from diverse socio-economic backgrounds on trip number and mode preferences for a variety of trip purposes for “before” and “during” COVID-19 situation. This was used to assess changes in (i) trip frequencies, and (ii) travel mode preferences using contingency tables, ordinal logistic regression and Sankey diagrams. Analyses revealed that COVID-19 caused large variation in mode preferences but small variation in trip frequencies. Males still go outside for work and shopping, putting them at greater risk than females. COVID-19 has drastically cut recreational trips, but not so many work trips. Although online work or education (950%) and shopping (170%) has risen, this seems to be limited to urban areas. Besides, buses continue to be preferred the most during pandemic for trips involving short distance recreation (26.75%), markets (43.18%), and long distance recreation (35.66%). Results suggest the lack of online penetration in rural and suburban areas have prevented worktrip reductions in those places, putting the inhabitants at heightened risk from virus. Moreover, majority of the people continue to use buses at the expense of their health for lack of cheaper alternatives. Results imply that the government needs to ensure proper hygiene practices in public transit and non-motorised paratransit vehicles. Moreover, Information and Communication Technology (ICT), pedestrian and bicycle facilities need to be improved.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages16
JournalTransportation Research Interdisciplinary Perspectives
Early online date5 Mar 2021
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2021

Bibliographical note

Copyright © 2021 The Author(s). Published by Elsevier Ltd. This is an open access article under the CC BY-NC-ND license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/)


  • COVID-19
  • Travel Behaviour
  • Lockdown
  • Global Pandemic
  • Developing Country
  • Travel behaviour
  • Global pandemic
  • Developing country


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