Metro demand has varied dramatically during the course of the pandemic, and is influenced by a wide range of societal and political factors as much as individual passenger behaviour. However, as cities, regions and countries recover from the most immediate impacts of the pandemic, metros are considering how to accommodate a safe and confident regrowth in demand from its lowest level. There are also new opportunities to respond to changing customer travel patterns and preferences, despite the ongoing challenges presented by COVID-19. This study brought together information from 33 COMET metros to understand:
- How metros plan to manage crowding particularly while the spread of COVID-19 is still a concern (including ongoing COVID-19 policies and event management) – metros expect that customer attitudes to personal space will change even without formal social distancing requirements. Operational management (i.e. service and staff response in stations, at platforms and trains) will be important as well as supporting customers to choose their travel times.
- What metros are doing to influence and encourage demand – metros are implementing or considering customer information tools, and fare changes and promotions to attract/reattract/influence customers.
- Metros’ future service plans – metros are ensuring flexibility is built into service plans to allow for changes in customer demand, for example service frequencies and peak/off-peak adjustments.