To promote social distancing during coronavirus times, Swedish public transport company Västtrafik encourage people to walk instead of taking the bus. To do this Västtrafik has made a new version of the common tram and bus map for the city of Gothenburg, which shows the number of steps required to walk between bus and tram stops.
Like Brussels Minister of Transportation Elke Van den Brandt, said during a webinar organized by Busworld Academy, “I am always promoting public transport. Now I have a different message: If you love our public transport, please go by bike or on foot. Leave it for those who really need it.” Västtrafik, the public transport company in Gothenburg, is bringing this into practice in helping preventing the Covid-19 virus from spreading. To inspire people to walk instead of overcrowding buses and trams in the center of the city, they turned its iconic tram map into a walking map. The map, with the number of steps between stops added, is a simple reminder that distances are actually quite short in the city centre of Gothenburg. The map can be seen in print ads and on billboards across the city's tram stops. The initiative was created by the Swedish creative agency Forsman & Bodenfors. According to Västtrafik research shows that people already have started to choose alternatives to public transport, taking the bus or bicycle to work. But the biggest increase is among those who walk. More than 30% claim they walk more now compared to before the spread of the coronavirus. The unorthodox decision to change the map was taken to reinforce the trend and further encourage people to use alternatives to public transport. And Brusels is supporting walking and cycling by putting 40 kilometre of extra bike lanes in place and expanding the pedestrian zones up to 100 kilometre of streets.