VLC was engaged by the Public Transport Authority of Western Australia to consider the potential long-term impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on public transport patronage.  


Client requirements

VLC was engaged to determine the potential impact of different scenarios on long-term public transport patronage in Perth. This three-stage project included a literature review of major disruption events in other cities and their impacts on patronage, development of a long list of six potential scenarios for the pandemic and post-pandemic recovery, development of a spreadsheet model to apply the scenarios to patronage forecasts, and detailed presentation of three scenarios and lessons learnt. 


Delivered outcome

VLC conducted a literature review that considered the patronage impacts and demand management strategies from 9/11 and the GFC in New York, the 2010-12 Earthquakes in Christchurch, and the 2018 Commonwealth Games in Brisbane. This information was used to develop potential scenarios for Perth, which considered how different segments of the population would be impacted by the initial lockdown, closed state borders, closed international borders and recovery. A spreadsheet model was developed that considered the potential influences of changes in migration/immigration, travel preferences and growth on different segments of the population and projected how this might impact patronage. The model and a presentation were delivered summarising what different lengths of pandemic and degrees of lockdown and border closures might mean for patronage in WA over the next few decades. 

This work was undertaken in 2020.