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Who is More Likely (Not) to Make Home-Based Work Trips during the COVID-19 Pandemic? The Case of Scotland

Semple, Torran; Fountas, Grigorios; Fonzone, Achille


Torran Semple


In this study, we use survey data (n=6,000) to investigate the work trip patterns of Scottish residents at various points of the COVID-19 pandemic. We focus specifically on the reported patterns of weekly work trips made during the government-enforced lockdown and subsequent phases of restriction easing. This is of particular importance given the widespread changes in work trips prompted by COVID-19, including a significant rise in telecommuting and a reduction in public transport commuting trips. The survey data show that the vast majority of respondents (~85%) made no work trips during lockdown, dropping to ~77% following the easing of some work-related restrictions. Zero-inflated hierarchical ordered probit models are estimated to determine the sociodemographic and behavioral factors affecting the frequency of work trips made during three distinct periods. The model estimation results showed that socioeconomic characteristics of respondents influenced work trips made throughout the pandemic. In particular, respondents in households whose main income earner is employed in a managerial/professional occupation were significantly more likely to make no work trips at all stages of the pandemic. Those with a health problem or disability were also significantly more likely to make no work trips throughout the pandemic. Other interesting findings concern respondents’ gender, as males were more likely to complete frequent work trips than females throughout the pandemic, and differences between densely populated areas and the rest of Scotland, as respondents from a large city (Edinburgh or Glasgow) were significantly more likely to make frequent work trips as restrictions were eased.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Jul 26, 2022
Online Publication Date Sep 20, 2022
Publication Date 2023-04
Deposit Date Aug 16, 2022
Publicly Available Date Sep 20, 2022
Journal Transportation Research Record: Journal of the Transportation Research Board
Print ISSN 0361-1981
Electronic ISSN 2169-4052
Publisher SAGE Publications
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 2677
Issue 4
Pages 904-916
Keywords COVID-19; Work trips; Telecommuting; Infection risk; Zero-inflated hierarchical ordered probit
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