About the Study

We are investigating the temporary vs. longer-term effects of the COVID19 pandemic. Our research team at UC Davis is leading a large data collection (10,958 respondents in the US and Canada, as of July 7th)  effort that includes a combination of quantitative (online surveys checking how behaviors and attitudes have changed and how people are adjusting to the COVID-19 outbreak) and qualitative (in-depth phone interviews to discuss more details on household organization, work activities, use of e-shopping and delivery services, changes in habits, preferences about land use, future plans to adjust travel choices and vehicle ownership, etc.) approaches. 

As part of the quantitative component of the project, we are administering 3 versions of an online survey to respondents in the United States, Canada, as well as internationally:

A longitudinal survey (Dataset L) was used to resample thousands of respondents from our previous 2018 California mobility survey (~3,400 respondents from California) and 2019 "8 cities" travel survey (~3,300 respondents from Los Angeles, San Francisco, Sacramento, Boston, Seattle, Salt Lake City, Kansas City and Washington DC). This is giving us a unique opportunity to build a longitudinal study to investigate the impacts of the pandemic. For all these respondents, the research team had already built a large dataset containing information on several dimensions of interest, including regular travel patterns, vehicle ownership, household organization, telecommuting patterns, e-shopping behaviors, emerging delivery services, environmental attitudes, land use preferences, use of shared mobility - including ridehailing (e.g. Uber/Lyft), shared ridehailing (i.e. UberPOOL/Lyft Share), car sharing, bike sharing and e-scooter sharing, use of public transit, active modes of transportation, propensity towards AVs, among other variables, for all respondents during the baseline data collections in 2018 / 2019 (when everybody was having their regular lifestyles). With more than 1,349 respondents in this version of the COVID-19 survey in 2020, the longitudinal study gives our research team a great opportunity to analyze the changes in individuals’ attitudes and behaviors now as well as through a third round of data collection after people go back to the “new” normality (fall 2020 or Spring 2021). 

An Opinion Panel (Dataset O) provides our research team with a breadth of new respondents recruited in 15 regions in the US and 2 in Canada. The 17 study regions include all regions that were already sampled in the longitudinal component of the study (see Version 1 above), with the addition of seven US regions and two regions in Canada that were not included in the previous round of data collection. For additional details on the regions included in this part of the study, please see the "Study Regions" page. More than 8,834 respondents from the 17 regions have already completed the Version 2 survey. All respondents for this part of the study have been recruited through an online opinion panel.

A Convenience Sample (Dataset C) is expanding the data collection with a convenience sample that is collected through inviting participants to participate in the study through several channels. The collection of a convenience sample for this version of the survey added a relatively simple way to expand the data collection both in the same focus regions described above, and in other regions of the US and Canada, and internationally, using the same survey tool that was designed for this study. So far, about 1,308 respondents have completed the Version 3 survey.

What we ask

All survey versions include nine main sections:

  1. Attitudes and preferences on transportation, residential location, environmental topics, etc.
  2. Impacts of COVID-19 pandemic on lifestyle, including use of technology
  3. Employment status, work and study activities
  4. Household organization and child-care
  5. Online and in-person shopping patterns (for groceries, food delivery services, visits to restaurants, etc.)
  6. Current travel choices (by trip purposes and modes)
  7. Use of emerging transportation services
  8. Household vehicle ownership and eventual plans for vehicle purchase
  9. Household and individual sociodemographics

Resampling

As part of the research design, all participants in the various versions of the data collections above will be invited to participate in a new round of data collection after people go back to the “new” normality (with the next wave of data collection expected during Fall 2020 or Spring 2021).

The research team is currently working at the analysis of the collected data from all regions. In addition, the availability of data collected from before the pandemic, as well as the administration of the survey questionnaire through various channels in the survey versions described above will allow us to compare the quality of the data collected and the characteristics of the respondents across the three sub-samples described above. This will be useful to assess potential sampling and response biases in the data collected through each channel, which could affect the conclusions and implications from the research (while many other COVID-19 surveys are only being administered through the use of convenience samples and/or one channel of recruitment of the respondents, without the ability to assess these issues and any limitations in data collection that might derive from them). 

Collaboration

Our research team welcomes collaborations and partnerships with other colleagues in the US and Europe, and plans to develop comparative analyses with them. As part of these collaboration schemes, a Version 4 of the survey is about to be launched in the regions of Newcastle and Leeds, in the United Kingdom, through a collaboration with the colleagues at the University of Leeds. The research team is also actively coordinating with other institutions and research teams at joint analyses on the assessment of the impacts of the pandemic on mobility in various other regions and countries.

Results

Results from this research will be posted on this webpage during the coming weeks, and presented at major professional and scientific transportation conferences and meetings. Feel free to check this webpage regularly for updates in the near future.

Contact us

This research is being conducted by the 3 Revolutions Future Mobility Program at the Institute of Transportation Studies of UC Davis. For questions about this study, please contact the Director of the 3RFM Program Dr. Giovanni Circella. For inquiries about the 3RFM Program, please contact Program Manager Dr. Rosa Dominguez-Faus. For media inquiries, please contact Director of Communications Sam Chiu