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U.S. Department of Transportation U.S. Department of Transportation Icon United States Department of Transportation United States Department of Transportation

Changes in Travel During COVID

Tuesday, April 18, 2023

Effects of COVID-19 on Travel Behavior

Substitution of working at home for journeys to work during the pandemic affects many aspects of local transportation. Commuting to work is a major element of local travel, public transit use, and peak period congestion. Trips to stores, an activity that can be substituted by online purchasing, is also a major element of local travel, transit use, and congestion.

Start exploring data from the Census Household Pulse Survey to view changes in work from home, transit and ride-sharing trips, trips to stores, and online purchasing. You can view the data at the national, state, or metropolitan level (15 largest). For states and metropolitan areas, you can see which differ from the national level with statistical significance.

a graph on the effects of covid-19 on travel behavior

Effects of COVID-19 on Travel Behavior by Income Groups

How do these changes in travel behavior vary by income group? Household income serves as a proxy for the type of jobs held by adults in the household, which can, for example, affect the ability to telework. Household income also signals the resources available, such as a reliable internet connection for telework and online shopping or a personal vehicle to use in lieu of public transit.

View how changes differ by income groups, with statistical significance, from the $75,000-99,000 income group at the national level or for a selected state or metropolitan area.

A graph on travel behavior income.