In May 2020, UTTRI associated faculty Professor Khandker Nurul Habib initiated five new research projects to explore the the impacts of COVID-19 on the travel demand and travel behaviour of residents of the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area (GTHA).
He speaks about this research in the article “Travel-related COVID spread in Ontario may be worse than we realize” published by TVO, December 23, 2020, which discusses the possible spread of COVID-19 through travel from places of lockdown – like the GTA – to neighbouring areas where shopping malls are open to in-person traffic.
Habib’s research revealed that during the initial wave of pandemic infections and restrictions, most people in the GTHA reduced their daily travel activities by about 50 per cent. And people who were making trips were making them later in the day and longer in distance. He explains:
“People wanted to go out of Toronto, where COVID was not as severe,” he posits. Another possible reason for increased travel distance is that less traffic on the roads meant people could go farther than usual in less time. “If you lift constraints, people will make more trips,” he says.
Professor Habib adds that further studies will take place this spring.
Read more about this research in these UTTRI Research Reports:
- Hossain, Sanjana, Kaili Wang, Khandker Nurul Habib, “Modelling the Choices of Telecommuting (On-line Learning) of Post-Secondary Students: Learning from the Revealed Behaviour to Prepare for Greater Acceptance in COVID-19 Induced Contexts,” November, 2020.
- Dianat, Alireza, Jason Hawkins, Khandker Nurul Habib, “An Assessment of the Impacts of Covid-19 Lockdown in Summer 2020 on Activity-Travel Behaviour in the Greater Toronto Area: Results from Cycle-1 of CASAS Satellite Survey ,” August, 2020.
- Loa, Patrick, Sanjana Hossain, Yicong Liu, Sk. Md. Mashrur, Khandker Nurul Habib, “How has COVID-19 Impacted Ride-sourcing use in the Greater Toronto Area? Results from the first cycle of the SiSTM satellite survey,” August, 2020.
- Mashrur, Sk. Md., Kaili Wang, Sanjana Hossain, Patrick Loa, Khandker Nurul Habib, “An Assessment of the Impacts of COVID-19 Lockdown in Summer 2020 on Transit Use in the Greater Toronto Area: Results from the Cycle-1 of SPETT Satellite Survey,” August, 2020.
- Shakib, Saeed, Jason Hawkins, Khandker Nurul Habib, “COVID-19 Impact on Residential Relocation Choice in the GTA: Result from a Specialized Survey Cycle I in Summer 2020,” August, 2020.