Pandemic Urbanism

May 14, 2020

Impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on attitudes toward sharing rides

By Parastoo Jabbari (, website)
PhD student, University of Washington

Coauthor: Don MacKenzie

The author will give this presentation at the Pandemic Urbanism Symposium in a session titled “Post-Pandemic Mobilities,” from 2:00 – 3:00 PM on May 29, 2020.

The COVID-19 pandemic, and as a result, stay-at-home orders and closure of unessential businesses had changed people’s movements around the cities drastically. Ride-hailing services have eliminated their pooling options, transit ridership has fallen drastically, and traffic jams have disappeared. While action by governments and employers have driven many of these shifts, individuals’ attitudes toward some of the transportation’s modes, specifically the ones that required sharing, may have changed as well. This study aims to better understand how the pandemic has changed individuals’ attitudes and perceptions toward transportation modes.

In May 2019, we implemented a U.S-wide survey to understand the impact of norms, perceptions, and attitudes on travelers’ mode choices. The survey included several questions on attitudes on ride-sharing and perceptions toward ride-hailing. During the COVID-19 pandemic, we redistributed this survey again to the same pool of participants to explore the effect of the pandemic on the people’s attitudes and perceptions toward modes that require sharing on the individual level. We tested whether there is a significant change in the reported behaviors and attitudes due to the pandemic compared to 2019. In this presentation, we will discuss our findings.