Public transport in times of Covid-19: disruption and continuity in urban mobility

Written by Tonio Weicker and Wladimir Sgibnev

This blog post was written for Geography Directions. To read the full post, please follow the link below.

Over the last couple of months, it is clear that the Covid-19 pandemic has dramatically shifted the way people perceive and use public transport. Restrictions have been enforced across the world, which have dramatically affected free movement on all scales. These have ranged from simple advice through various degrees of lockdowns, to app-based ghettos based on social status – with different consequences of each.

According to John Urry and Margaret Grieco, “freedom of movement, as represented in popular media, politics and the public sphere, is the ideology and utopia of the twenty-first century”. This breakdown of mobility networks and routines therefore has broad social significance. Interrupted global supply chains, closed metro networks, deserted transportation hubs, and locked borders not only challenge economic flows and travel rights within the EU, but fundamentally question the paradigm that equates movement with individual and collective progress.

The last couple of months have created a crisis of mobility …

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