Impact of Covid-19 on Public Transportation Usage and Ambient Air Quality in Turkey
COVID-19 caused by the SARS-CoV-2 virus is a global health concern due to the quick spread of the disease. In Turkey, the first confirmed COVID-19 case and death occurred on 11 and 15 March 2020, respectively. There is a lack of research on the impact of COVID-19 on public transportation mobility and the Air Quality Index (AQI) around the world. The objective of this research is to consider the impact of COVID-19 on public transportation usage and consequently the AQI level in Turkey. Data collection for the analysis of public transportation usage and the air quality status during pre-lockdown and lockdown was carried out using the public transportation applications Moovit and World’s Air Pollution. The results demonstrated that during the lockdown in Ankara and Istanbul, public transportation usage dramatically decreased by more than 80% by the end of March and did not change significantly until the end of May. As regards air quality, the results confirmed that air quality improved significantly during the lockdown. For Ankara and Istanbul, the improvement was estimated at about 9% and 47%, respectively.
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