The coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic is having a considerable impact on countries across the globe. While it is essential that people follow the advice, guidelines and directives of their national government and city administration, there are still some essential workers who must be able to move safely within their municipality or region.
Different countries have tackled these challenging circumstances in different ways – and, in some cases, directives differ from city to city. Below are some broad examples of measures being taken.
Closures and restrictions
- ceasing all public passenger transport provision – or scaling back service duration and/or frequency;
- enforcing the closure of non-essential businesses;
- closing schools, colleges and universities;
- banning public bike-share or e-scooter services;
- introducing mandatory quarantine measures to prevent non-essential trips outside the home;
- placing restrictions on recreational cycling and walking;
- closing recreational spaces to discourage non-essential trips.
Measures that promote or mandate behaviour change
- insisting on distancing measures when using public passenger transport (marking certain seats/areas as out of bounds);
- avoiding cash transactions and encouraging the use of contactless card payments;
- encouraging non-essential workers to work from home;
- requiring people to wear gloves in public and specifically when using shared transport;
- encouraging the use of shared transport services to migrate essential travellers away from public passenger transport.
introducing more frequent and thorough cleaning of public spaces;
making passenger transport free for essential workers who must travel;
adjusting traffic lights to reduce waiting times specifically for pedestrians and cyclists to allow social distancing measures to be observed without impeding journey times (see example here in French).
Join the conversation and share your reality
The Transformative Urban Mobility Initiative (TUMI) has invited people across Europe to share their experiences of mobility during the pandemic by joining the conversation on social media (https://twitter.com/TUMInitiative/status/1237106414038003713). TUMI has also acknowledged that there may be different impacts from the pandemic depending on gender – inviting discussions on social media using the hashtag #womenmobilizevscorona.
Cycling Industries Europe (CIE) has also launched a hashtag to thank businesses and cyclists who have made extraordinary efforts and personal sacrifices during the COVID19 pandemic, #cyclingtheextramile. Using the hashtag to recognise those who are working hard to support cycling by maintaining or repairing bicycles for essential workers to use at no cost or using bicycles as a form of transport while volunteering, is supported by the European Cyclists' Federation (ECF), European Cycle Logistics Federation (ECLF) and the International Mountain Bicycling Association (IMBA) Europe.
Sources of information:
The European Commission has also recently issued COVID-19 guidelines on the following measures;
- Guidelines for border management measures to protect health and ensure the availability of goods and essential services
- Interim advice for preparedness and response to cases of COVID-19 at points of entry in the European Union (EU)/EEA Member States (MS)
- Preliminary advice for preparedness and response to cases of COVID-19 at ground crossings (trains and rail stations) in the European Union (EU)/European Economic Area (EEA) Member States (MS)
The following sources will help stay up-to-date with the most recent developments, advice and information
- Live updates COVID-19 (Eurocities)
- How is coronavirus affecting the global transport sector? Live updates (Intelligent transport)
- COVID-19: Keeping things moving (Polis)
Further information and guidance:
International Association of Public Transport (UITP) has also published the page The Guardians of Mobility: keeping cities alive and moving which also links to some factsheets in a number of different languages.
European Cycling Federation (ECF) has a dedicated COVID-19 information page
Walk21 has information titled Promoting walking and challenges for walkability during the pandemic
The Council of European Municipalities and Regions (CEMR) provides links to national websites created to provide information and guidance during the pandemic.
SustainableTransport features a web page about The COVID-19 Outbreak and Implications to Sustainable Urban Mobility
The Eltis team has also started to provide a weekly round-up of measures taken across Europe in response to the pandemic and physical distancing measures;
- 14 April 2020: How has COVID-19 affected mobility
- 20 April 2020: The impact of COVID-19 on transport
- 27 April 2020: The impact of COVID-19 on transport and mobility
- 04 May 2020: The impact of COVID-19 on transport and mobility
- 11 May 2020: The impact of COVID-19 on transport and mobility
- 18 May 2020: The impact of COVID-19 on transport and mobility
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