1 News

25 January:

  • There have been significant changes since the last report.
  • Since Nov. 12, a co-operation with the company LINK has allowed us to increase the size of our panel. The results now include these new participants, and the changes to the panel distribution are indicated here: link
  • This does mean changes to some of the graphs from November onwards - due to the new sample composition.
  • The results of online surveys on changes to participants’ employment and household statuses have been integrated into the results.

14 December:

  • Most charts are now interactive. The effects of the winter weather are now clearly visible.

Previous news (click to expand)

18 November:

  • Charts 2-6 are now interactive and zoomable.

2 November:

  • The method for the calculation of active days was improved, which affects some of the results.
  • New graph of average daily distance by trip purpose. link

6 October:

  • The chart showing the daily average distance by gender has been corrected to show total distance, whereas it previously included only car travel. Also the same graph now dispalys a 4 day rolling average for visibility. The original values are still available in the downloadable data.

28 September:

  • New chart with key transport-mode indicators added. link

24 August:

  • Updated conclusions.
  • The report will now be updated every second week.

11 August:

  • New analysis of trip purpose (mode shares and hourly counts). link
  • Weekly weights of the sample against the original MOBIS study have been applied to all results. link

6 August:

13 July:

  • As of July 6th, face masks are compulsory on public transport in Switzerland.
  • To reflect this development, the relevant graphs have vertical lines added indicating the start of the lockdown (March 16th), relaxation of the lockdown (May 11th) and the introduction of the mask requirement (July 6th).

29 June:

  • New analysis on the shifts in the transport mode share - link

15 June:

  • The data can now be downloaded directly for certain requested charts. Please make sure to cite both the IVT, ETHZ and WWZ, Uni Basel as the source.
  • Hourly counts now show the whole day - Midnight to 4am is no longer excluded.
  • Analysis by home office - link.
  • In response to multiple inquiries, we would like to clarify that the baseline-2019 period covers September and October 2019.
  • Results by gender corrected
  • New analysis of car travel speeds by distance class - link.

25 May:

  • Adjusted # Activities/Day so that the first home activity per day is not included.
  • Converted long tables to graphs.

18 May:

  • First report after the relaxation of lockdown measures on May 11th.
  • The 2019 Baseline period has been shortened to only include September and October - This mostly affects the cycling numbers.

11 May:

  • New graph of activity space and daily radius - link.

4 May:

  • New chart from online survey with participants on risk perception - link.
  • Key points summary and formatting adjustments.

27 April:

  • New chart on the change in activity type by land zoning.

20 April:

  • Mobile participants per day.
  • Non-mobile participants are now included in the activity-space numbers in addition to a new table on median weekly activity spaces.
  • New graphs, including average trip distance by mode.
  • Formatting improvements and other small corrections.

13 April:

  • Earlier weeks have been grouped and colored grey in certain graphs.

2 Introduction

On March 16, 2020, 3700 participants who completed the MOBIS study between September 2019 and January 2020 were invited to reinstall the GPS Logger and Travel Diary App ‘Catch-My-Day’, developed by MotionTag. This voluntary recording of their mobility behaviour allowed us to track the impact of the various special measures during the unfolding pandemic. The pandemic is still going on one year later and many participants are still tracking.

Participation decreased from about 1’300 participants to around 500 by the start of the second COVID19 wave in autumn/fall 2020 for any number of good reasons, such as a new smartphone, operating system updates, etc.. About 250 rejoined the panel after a second invitation in October 2020. We are very grateful for their engagement. Still, we happily agreed, when LINK offered to recruit more participants to the panel. This further increase of our sample allows us to complement the existing core. By mid-January a total of 393 additional participants had joined via LINK.

This week’s report is the first based on the new sample.

The results are shown in comparison to those of the first 4 weeks of mobility data from the original MOBIS Study which were recorded between 1st September and 15th November 2019, and thus serve as a baseline well before the pandemic hit Switzerland. The four weeks are spread over a period of time as the sample was built up successively in waves. Only trips inside Switzerland are currently considered, although data on cross border travel is available. For the MOBIS study, participants were only eligible if they used a car at least 3 days a week - which skews the sample away from the Swiss general population. We did not impose a similar condition on the LINK-recruited participants as we are now aiming towards a more representative sample of the population.

The number of tracking participants each day used to calculate the average daily values, includes all participants who recorded tracks before or after that date. This allows the consideration of those who stay at home while still allowing for survey dropouts.

The GPS Travel diary used, Catch-My-Day (for iOS and Android) can have a 2-3 day delay before the tracks are available for analysis. The scaling by active participants accommodates for this, but the results of previous reports may change when the report is updated. The scales are calculated against the representative sample we obtained as part of the MOBIS recruitment process.

3 Average daily distance

[1] “Download chart data

4 Active days

[1] “Download chart data

5 Change in kilometers travelled by transport mode

[1] “Download chart data

The following two figures present regression estimates based on a Poisson model. Such a model can be used to estimate the average proportional change in a variable of interest while controlling for confounding factors. We control for weather effects and person fixed effects to absorb unobserved heterogeneity that is constant across time. The vertical bars mark 90%-confidence intervals.

[1] “Download chart data

6 Key indicators by mode

[1] “Download chart data

7 Change in kilometers travelled by…

8 Analysis of trip purpose

[1] “Download chart data

[1] “Download chart data

9 Road travel speeds

The following graph shows the effect of the COVID-19 crisis on median car travel speeds during the week, i.e. excluding weekends and holidays. During the lockdown period from March 16th to May 11th, an increase in the peak-hour speeds was observed, indicating a decrease in overall congestion. Since the relaxation of the measures, peak-hour speeds have returned to pre-COVID-19 values, a sign that congestion is back to usual levels.

Download chart data

10 Shifts in the transport mode share

A ternary plot is the graphical representation of triplets of numerical data. It is suitable for representing a constant sum, which is broken down into three summands. The following figure shows an example of such a plot with a single point. The triplet corresponding to this point can be read by following the green lines: A=0.5, B=0.3 and C=0.2. The sum of the three values is equal to 1.

The following ternary plots show the change in mode shares over the course of the COVID-19 crisis, for different types of public transport subscriptions (GA, Halbtax and other). The modes are grouped into the following categories:

  • Motorized individual transport (car, motorbike, taxi, Uber)
  • Public transport (bus, tram, ferry, metro, train)
  • Unmotorized transport (walk, bike)

During the lockdown, a higher share of kilometers and trips were performed using motorized individual and unmotorized modes as compared to the reference period. After the lockdown, the share of public transport has increased and the share unmotorized modes has decreased, both slightly. The share of motorized individual modes it still greater than during the reference period.

11 Reduction in kilometers travelled by working arrangement

Participants in MOBIS-Covid19 were asked to report their working status on 24/4/2020. The following charts use these results, with the working status imputed using sociodemographic indicators for those who didn’t respond. Specifically, we asked for the number of days working both at home and out of home, and these were then grouped into the categories used below:

  • Working only at home
  • Only working out of home
  • A mix of home office and normal conditions

[1] “Download chart data (Work location)

[1] “Download chart data (Kurzarbeit)

12 Reduction in kilometers travelled by canton

[1] “Download chart data

13 Trip duration by transport mode and gender

[1] “Download chart data