COVID Future team to present at TRB conference in January 2022

We are pleased to announce that research from the COVID Future team has been accepted to the annual meeting of the Transportation Research Board in January 2022. The following research will be presented at the conference: Expected Change in U.S. Air Travel After the COVID-19 Pandemic, Sara Khoeini et al.* Observed and Expected Impacts of … Continue reading COVID Future team to present at TRB conference in January 2022

Moving during the COVID-19 Pandemic

Many Americans have moved during the pandemic. We present findings from the COVID Future survey exploring the who, where, and why of relocations that occurred during the pandemic. We also address the popular narrative that Americans are undergoing an “urban exodus” and fleeing cities.

Who’s Able to Work from Home?

The ability to work from home is an important pandemic-related equity concern. High-income, educated, nonessential full-time workers are most likely to have this option during COVID-19. Preferring to work from home actually predicts having the option to; so do demographics such as race, ethnicity, and gender. In the future, responses indicate that preferences about remote work will play a greater role in having the ability to do so while the role of demographics will decrease.

Individual attitudes and the COVID-19 response

Attitudes are increasingly recognized as important predictors for behavior. Our survey used a series of 39 questions to sort respondents into five personality types. We find that preferences for suburban living and in-person interaction, as well as one’s level of concern for COVID-19, are important predictors of post-pandemic behavior. An understanding of these attitudes is critical to the COVID-19 response.

The student experience with COVID-19

Universities are at a crossroads as they prepare for the fall semester. While the COVID-19 response of the spring 2020 semester was received poorly by students, universities have the opportunity to improve upon these changes in the coming year. Keys to student satisfaction will include establishing open lines of communication between students and professors, and creating engaging classes.

COVID-19’s impact on online shopping and deliveries

COVID-19 has necessitated a transition from in-person to online shopping for groceries, retail, and restaurant meals. We find that the popularity of online shopping is overall likely to persist past the pandemic, but restaurants are unlikely to see the takeout or dine-in patronage necessary to survive the pandemic untouched. There is a wide variety in how popular different types of online shopping (e.g. groceries and non-groceries) are expected to be in the future.

COVID-19’s effect on daily travel

Preliminary results indicate that COVID-19 will have lasting effects on our day-to-day travel. Transit in particular has experienced the biggest decrease in usage during the pandemic, but motorized travel is generally expected to become less popular in the long term. Meanwhile, biking and walking are expected to become increasingly prevalent as substitutes for car and transit trips.

Will COVID-19 reduce air travel in the long term?

Airplane travel has been dramatically reduced during the pandemic. We examine the flying habits of both business and personal travelers, and conclude that flying is likely to decrease for both groups (but more so for business travelers) in the long run. The ability to conduct meetings remotely and concerns about the safety of flying in an enclosed space with strangers are major contributors to this trend.