Impact of COVID-19 on travel


Jose Agustin Vallejo-Borda (PhD in Transportation, Universidad de Los Andes, Colombia) started working at BRT + COE in 2020, with the aim of addressing the impact of COVID on travel. José has been familiarized with the Centre previously while developing his doctorate studies, as well as through his participation in transport conferences, and had the opportunity to meet and collaborate with Juan de Dios Ortúzar, Ricardo Hurtubia, Ricardo Giesen, among other academics from the Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile.

Jose Agustin Vallejo-Borda, PhD in Transportation

His current research is based on the work initiated in Australia by Matthew Beck and David Hensher, both from ITLS, University of Sydney, who studied the impact of COVID-19 on travel and household activities in Australia. This study was then adapted and contextualized to the conditions of Latin America, with the aim of carrying out the same survey in different countries of this region. The above, always with the support and work in conjunction with members of the BRT+ Center and the Departamento de Ingeniería en Transporte y Logística UC, who have contributed in different instances of the investigation. Among them are Juan de Dios Ortuzar, Ricardo Giesen, José Reyes, Beatriz Mella and Paul Basnak.

The first part of the study already finished, with the study being carried out in Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Mexico, and Peru, mostly in the capitals of these countries. The aim was to capture the different changes that were generated in the field of transportation due to the pandemic (associated with the modal choice, frequency, traveling costs, among others), as well as in daily activities. In order to make a comparison, pre and post pandemic situations were taken as a reference.

Currently José Agustín is working in the second part of the research, where he hopes to capture and identify how the perceptions and people’s lives have changed over time. He expects that a second survey will be launched in mid-June, one that will include dimensions that were not asked in the previous survey, focusing this time more on travel than on working conditions.

José presenting his results at the seminar: Impact of COVID on travel

The results of the survey, as José expects, will help in shaping public policies and decision-making in the area, promoting sustainable cities and communities, and helping to understand how the pandemic has affected and will affect people’s daily trips post-covid. The publication of future papers in leading magazines such as Transportion Research is also expected, as well as presenting the results in conferences and webinars, just as the results of the first survey were presented (check in this link).