Impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the comfort of riding a crowded bus in Metro Vancouver, Canada

Bogdan Kapatsila*, Francisco J. Bahamonde-Birke, Dea van Lierop, Emily Grisé

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


The COVID-19 pandemic had a profound impact on transit ridership around the world, including in Metro Vancouver, Canada. The regional transit agency there, TransLink, faced the challenge of not only tackling the sudden revenue loss but also ensuring the safety and comfort of its riders that could be affected by crowding. As the tide of restrictions subsided, and riders are gradually coming back to public transport, their feelings of safety and comfort must be ensured so that they do not deflect to other modes. To guide TransLink and agencies alike in this process, this study aimed to understand the factors that affected the decision to board a bus and level of comfort of riding it for different behavioral classes of transit riders before and during the COVID-19 pandemic. It employed a classification of transit riders based on their attitudes towards personal safety and flexibility both before and during the COVID-19 pandemic and investigated the effect of crowding on their decision to board and the comfort of boarding a bus at various crowding levels. The findings of this study are expected to guide the development of relevant policy interventions that can engage diverse groups of riders to continue using transit in a way that is convenient, comfortable, and safe for them.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)83-96
Number of pages14
JournalTransport Policy
Early online date20 Jul 2023
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2023


  • COVID-19
  • Transit crowding
  • Transit market segmentation
  • Transit safety
  • Transport behavior
  • Transportation demand management


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