According to the Central Statistics Office (CSO), COVID-19 concerns impacted public transport transport usage last year.
COVID-19 concerns was one of several reasons given by CSO respondents for not using public transport more often in 2021, with COVID-19 concerns being cited by 14% of respondents who use bus services less than weekly and by 10% of respondents who use rail services less than weekly, according to a statement published on CSO.ie, which also noted that 37% of persons who walk said that they walk more now than they did before the COVID-19 pandemic, and close to half of these were specifically for leisure/exercise purposes.
Statements By Statistician
The statement published on CSO.ie included a statement from statistician in the social analysis and modules division Maureen Delamere that said, "When this survey was carried out in Quarter 4 2021, we were more than one and half years into the global COVID-19 pandemic. It is interesting to look at how this pandemic has changed our lives and, in particular, how it has impacted our travel behaviour.
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"More remote working has likely impacted on our car usage. With more people remote working for part or all of their working week in Quarter 4 2021, car usage was impacted with more people now staying at home more often. In Quarter 4 2021, just 58% of respondents who were remote working, travelled by car daily or almost daily, compared with three quarters (75%) of respondents who were not working remotely pre-COVID-19.
"We are also becoming more active since COVID-19. Respondents were asked how often they walk/cycle. Of those who walk or cycle at least monthly, they were asked if they walk or cycle more than they did before the pandemic. Nearly four in ten (37%) said that they walk more now than they did prior to the arrival of COVID-19, while one third (33%) said they cycle more now than they did before the pandemic. Leisure/exercise purposes was the main reason for almost six in ten (57%) cycling journeys and nearly half (47%) of journeys by foot.
"COVID-19 related restrictions remained in place on public transport until early 2022. Concerns regarding COVID-19 was one of a number of reasons given by repondents for not using public transport more frequently. COVID-19 concerns were cited by one in seven (14%) respondents who use bus services less than weekly and one in ten (10%) respondents who use rail services less than weekly."
Delamere added, "It is important to note, however, that this is a snapshot in time, as to how COVID-19 had affected our lives and in particular, our travel behaviour in 2021. Future CSO National Travel Surveys will strive to provide insight in to how many of the pandemic-related changes in travel behaviour are sustained."
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