The dramatic COVID-19 epidemic is highlighting how health aspects are crucial for people's lives. It is also showing as controlling mobility is perhaps equally relevant for preventing the infection of other people and avoiding an exponential spread of the virus.
In epidemic conditions, monitoring people's mobility is fundamental to prevent the spread of the virus; however, it is equally important to analyze the mobility patterns that are profoundly modified in the spatial and temporal distribution, in the choice of the transport mode and the mobility behavior within the mode. Many operators are making available extensive sets of data on the people's mobility, and so enable systematic analyses of people's behavior and transport system performances.
However, the pandemic outbreak is imposing strict reductions to the capacity of the Public Transport to comply with the social distancing requirements. Such a radical change of paradigm requires studying and developing new methods to control the demand for public transport that guarantee accessibility, reduce delays, and ensure safe conditions by limiting the risk of contagion.
Indeed, the consequent substantial reduction of patronage is critical for the financial sustainability of the public transport companies. Thus, it is fundamental that public transport provides users perception of a safe, modern, and efficient system, along with other policy measures aimed at shaving the peaks of demand for transport.
The specific objective of the proposal is to:
- Analyze the effects of the lockdown process and the subsequent reopening stage on the people's mobility and the transport system performances, exploiting all available data.
- Design a monitoring system based on an individual telecommunication system, based, e.g., on Bluetooth.
- Design a control system for public transport services, able to ensure the social distancing of passengers that will be required in the different phases of pandemic spread.