Mobility in lockdown: 18 percent of Germans want to walk more


During the lockdown light in November, German citizens once again significantly reduced their mobility. This is the result of a survey by the German Aerospace Center (DLR) among 1,000 representatively selected people between the end of November and the beginning of December. 56 percent of the participants had covered less or much less distances than usual. In summer the rate was 44 percent. About a third of the population stated that they covered as many distances as usual.

The only form of transportation that continues to be used more in times of crisis is walking. At the same time, public transport would continue to be used dramatically less, it says in the study. The proportion of people who have used public transport much less has risen by a further five percentage points to 37 percent.

“People feel comfortable in public transport more uncomfortable than in summer“, write the researchers. The discomfort is a little less than during the first lockdown. Two thirds of the respondents stated that they perceive violations of the mask requirement again and again, many would like more stringent controls. This is compared to 17 percent of German citizens drive more or more often, up from 14 percent in the summer.

In the spring, DLR asked people to assess which means of transport they would use in the future. “The answers very clearly reflect the new behavior developed during the pandemic,” explains Claudia Nobis from the DLR Institute of Transport Research. According to this, 18 percent want to walk more and cycle six percent more, which would also benefit the climate. Nine percent are flirting with getting into the car more often. 19 percent said they wanted to use local public transport less often.

80 percent of those surveyed stated that they did not want to travel over the Christmas holidays. 8 percent were planning a trip, 5 percent were unsure at the time of the survey. 6 percent did not yet know where to spend Christmas regardless of the corona pandemic. “If all the undecided stay at home, the travel volume will drop by 60 percent compared to previous years,” estimates Nobis.

The proportion of people who have bought products online since the first lockdown in the spring has continued to rise. 50 percent said they had ordered one to three times online in the past four weeks. 36 percent do this weekly. 14 percent did not shop online. At the same time, the number of respondents who feel uncomfortable shopping in stores has increased since the summer. The Internet was also more important than in the previous year when it came to buying Christmas presents: 37 percent said that they would buy most of their presents online. Last year it was 22 percent.

The proportion of people working from home has increased again slightly: 40 percent of the participants work partly or permanently at home. This trend also appears to be increasing in more rural regions; in cities, people generally work more from home. In the summer around 75 percent rated this option as positive, now it is 66 percent.

Many people also stated that they felt uncomfortable during leisure activities due to the risk of infection. This is especially true when meeting friends, relatives or acquaintances. Due to the lockdown, 37 percent had stopped doing outdoor recreational activities. However, 63 percent came out at least once – often for a walk or outdoor exercise.


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