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AET COVID-19 Conversations

How is COVID-19 affecting daily life, travel and mobility patterns and how will these be impacted in the future in a post COVID-19 world?

The Association for European Transport’s (AET) COVID-19 Conversations is a series of webinars, interviews and online resources dedicated to discussing the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on the transportation industry. As Europe’s leading transport organisation for professionals and academics, AET is dedicated to supporting members and the wider transport industry during the pandemic. AET COVID-19 Conversations offers a unique and comprehensive European perspective of the pandemic through discussions with transport professionals across Europe. 

COVID-19 Transport Resources

AET provides updated resources related to the COVID-19 pandemic including: general information and mobility measurements resources, publications from countries across Europe and abroadand numerous academic articles. AET also welcomes evidence and experiences related to COVID-19, mobility and transport sector impacts, current responses, and plans and proposals for future recovery. 

COVID-19 Interviews

AET provides current members with interviews with transport professionals and academics. These interviews with fellow AET members offer discussions on how the COVID-19 pandemic is affecting the transport industry throughout Europe. 

Upcoming COVID-19 Webinars

Public transport and pandemics: - preparing for the worst case scenario?
Thursday 7 October 2021
11.00 - 12.00 CEST (10.00 - 11.00 BST/WEST)
Upcoming webinars are open to both the general public and AET members.

Besides wearing face masks, social distancing is one of the key measures against the current pandemic. The distance varies from 1 to 2 m according to country, and imposes a severe limit on public transport capacity, giving a clear advantage to private modes of transport, particularly cars. However, this measure is not applied in aviation, because of the use of advanced air filters.

As land borne public transport does not use such filters, distancing measures are in force inside vehicles and stations, like preventing half the seats from being used. The general expectation was that as soon as vaccines would become available, the distancing would no longer be necessary, and public transport use would return to ‘normal’. The orders for new rolling stock seem to confirm this expectation, with interiors that look as if the ‘normal’ situation has returned.

Although vaccines seem to be effective against COVID-19 variants, some researchers forecast that pandemics remain a persistent problem in the upcoming years. This means that parallel to preparing for the return to ‘normal’ without distancing measures, public transport authorities and operators should consider alternative scenarios. This webinar aims to discuss the need for research into alternative systems and interior designs, as well as new approaches to vehicle engineering and service planning in case of future threats of COVID-19 or other pandemics that may make public transport less attractive periodically or in a long term.

This webinar is organised in the form of a discussion after an introductory presentation by a leading European public transport expert:

  • Ambrosius Baanders, independent consultant, NL (former Chair of the Board at AET): Public transport and pandemics: preparing for the worst case scenario?
  • This presentation is followed by a reaction from aviation expert Peter A Forbes(Alan Stratford and Associates Ltd., UK) and rail expert Guy Yeomans (Rail Safety and Standards Board, UK)

The webinar is organised as the first event of the AET Transport and Mobility Forum (previously the AET Covid-19 conversations) and will be chaired by András Munkácsy, KTI, HU, from the AET Webinars Working Group.

The webinar will be hosted on the WebEx platform. Please click on the registration link below to register for the webinar. Pre-registered participants will receive additional information by email, containing instructions on how to use WebEx and a calendar item with the link. Please note that there is no deadline for signing up. Last minute registrants can access the webinar via the registration link.

By attending the AET webinars, participants consent to the use of their details for the organisation of future online AET events and the European Transport Conference.

Please register via this link to let us know you will attend, by clicking the Register button. 

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The AET COVID-19 Working Group continues to encourage AET members and others to submit papers and reports describing their work on the pandemic response. These articles will be published at the AET website and will be used in planning the programme of webinars in 2021.

Previous COVID-19 Conversations Webinars and Interviews

Currently Available Online (Member Login Required)

  • Interview: Gisela Gräfin von Schlieffen (7 May 2020)
  • Interview: Conall Mac Aongusa (7 May 2020)
  • Interview: Pierluigi Coppola (19 May 2020)
  • Webinar: Mobility and the Coronavirus crisis in the Netherlands (16 July 2020)
  • Webinar: COVID-19 impact on transportation (16 July 2020)
  • Webinar: Changing activity spaces and mobility patterns amongst Swiss population segments (30 July 2020)
  • Webinar: Social distancing during COVID-19 and its implications for transport planning (30 July 2020)
  • Webinar: Planning for post COVID-19 with an intelligent Mobility Hat (1 October 2020)
  • Webinar: Mobility management after COVID-19 (1 October 2020)
  • Webinar: How do Dutch train passengers (expect to) travel during and after COVID: Insights from a longitudinal panel of over 20,000 train passengers (5 November 2020)
  • Webinar: Public transport during and after COVID-19 (5 November 2020)

Coming Soon (Member Login Required)

  • Webinar: Issues and policy reactions in maritime transport chains under COVID-19 (3 December 2020)
  • Webinar: European Container Trade Developments – First three quarters of 2020 (3 December 2020)
  • Webinar: Freight transport developments in The Netherlands under COVID-19 (3 December 2020)
  • Webinar: Evidence, Power and Money in Transport’s Pandemic Response (7 January 2021)
  • Webinar: COVID-19 and Public Transport in Europe: Moving Forward (4 February 2021)
  • Webinar: Is the Pandemic Increasing the Gender Mobility Gap (4 March 2021)

Transport and Mobility Forum Workgroup Members

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Derek Halden

DHC Loop Connections

Engineering, planning, data, technology, research and analysis

United Kingdom

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Derek Halden (UK) specialises in planning accessibility and connections to enable joint planning of the factors that drive travel demand together with transport supply. The global pandemic has changed people, places and transport making accessibility planning even more important than prior to the pandemic. I am working with AET to help develop the debate about these new challenges and responses, taking transport planning beyond traditional boundaries to further develop accessibility and connectivity planning. Jeffrey Howard
Jeffrey Howard

University of Westminster 

Doctoral Researcher

United Kingdom

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Jeffrey Howard (UK) is a doctoral researcher and research assistant at the University of Westminster, and joined the AET Council in 2019. His research involves the use of Twitter by train operating companies in the United Kingdom. He is currently conducting  research of the effects of Covid-19 on train operator Twitter messaging, as well as it's effects on travel behaviour. Jeffrey is pleased to join the Covid-19 workgroup to continue this work and support transport's navigation of the pandemic. He is excited to launch this webinar as a new platform to support AET's leadership of transport debates in Europe. 
Conall Mac Aongusa
Conall Mac Aongusa

Mobimetrix – Ireland

Independent Transport Planner


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Conall Mac Aongusa (IE) is Chair of the AET Webinars Group and is an Independent Transport Engineer and Planner from Ireland. He is a member of the Board of Directors of AET and a former Chair of AET Council from 2012-2016. I want to support the development of our new online webinar initiatives and resources so that AET has the potential to become the preferred platform for debate on transport in Europe.   Andras Munkascy 
András Munkácsy

KTI Institute for Transport Sciences


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James Odeck
James Odeck

Norwegian University of Science and Technology


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  Jonathan Spear
Jonathan Spear

Transport Policy and Strategy Advisor  

United Arab Emirates 

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Jonathan Spear (UAE) is a Transport Policy and Strategy Advisor with 26 years’ experience in public policy, strategy, governance and regulatory studies, capacity and skills analysis and building. Much of this has specialized in national, regional and local transport policy frameworks, institutional structures and processes. A Fellow of CIHT and a Chartered Transport Planning Professional, he has worked extensively in the international arena, including the UK and Europe, Middle East, Africa and Asia-Pacific, and been based in London, Dubai, Beijing, Hong Kong and Singapore. As well as the AET Covid-19 Working Group, he is closely engaged in the activities of the World Road Association, PIARC, and the Chartered Institution of Highways and Transportation.