From lockdowns to unlocking the potential of mobility in American cities.

Although in many cases the shift in travel behavior during the pandemic was not a result of free will but rather external circumstances, many people worldwide switched to work-from-home, adopted new modes, and adjusted their travel and behavior to mitigate the consequences of the pandemic. Cycling in the U.S. has been particularly impacted and it was found that 14% of the respondents in the examined sample indicated their willingness to increase the frequency of cycling (compared to only 4% that indicated the intent to decrease it). Shifts in the willingness to work from home, e-commerce participation, and even workers’ self-reported productivity have been also identified. In addition to the standard socio-demographic factors known to impact mobility behaviors, several research efforts have confirmed that shifts in travel choices are equally driven by factors such as life-satisfaction, environmental friendliness, or tech savviness. Lastly, the constantly evolving mobility paradigm will be examined through the lens of equity and social justice.

Dr. Natalia Barbour is an Assistant Professor of Transportation and Smart Cities at the University of Central Florida. Her research applies statistical and econometric models to study travel behavior, transportation safety, shared mobility adoption and aims to explore transportation from the environmental and equitable perspectives. Prior to joining UCF, she was an assistant professor at Delft University of Technology in the Netherlands. She holds a doctorate in civil engineering from the University of South Florida and completed her postdoctoral training at Massachusetts Institute of Technology.