A qualitative study on transportation experiences of public transport users in Türkiye during the COVID-19 pandemic

Yılmaz Ş., Fındık G., ÖZ B.

Transportation Research Part F: Traffic Psychology and Behaviour, vol.100, pp.1-12, 2024 (SSCI) identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 100
  • Publication Date: 2024
  • Doi Number: 10.1016/j.trf.2023.11.009
  • Journal Name: Transportation Research Part F: Traffic Psychology and Behaviour
  • Journal Indexes: Social Sciences Citation Index (SSCI), Scopus, Academic Search Premier, Aerospace Database, Business Source Elite, Business Source Premier, Communication Abstracts, Compendex, Metadex, Psycinfo, Civil Engineering Abstracts
  • Page Numbers: pp.1-12
  • Keywords: COVID-19 Pandemic, Mobility, Public transportation, Qualitative study, Thematic analysis, Travel behavior
  • Police Academy Affiliated: No


Due to the COVID-19 outbreak, people refrained from crowded places; public transport is one of them. The need for movement was restricted as part of governmental precautions. However, some people continue to go to workplaces as usual, and the ones who do not have personal vehicles continue using public transportation. The current study aims to investigate the experiences of public transport users (i.e., passengers) in Türkiye during the COVID-19 pandemic. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with ten people living in Ankara. As a result of thematic analysis, four overarching themes and fifteen sub-themes were determined. These overarching themes include changes in travel behavior during COVID-19, factors influencing transportation preferences, suggestions for better planning of public transport services, and suggestions for better crisis management. The results suggest significant policy implications at the municipal and governmental level, emphasizing the need for transparent risk communication, timely measures, and enforcement. Additionally, the study highlights transportation inequity, which becomes visible after the pandemic. We believe that qualitative data provided valuable insight to road authorities about road users' transportation experiences during the pandemic and, thus, how to manage better the pandemic's effect on the transport system based on the mobility needs of the citizens. We hope the results could benefit road authorities in developing effective policies and plans for all countries in the world, especially for the ones having a specific need to improve safety in traffic settings.