The current paper aims to investigate the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on some road safety and public transport ridership factors including traffic volume, speed, metro and bus trips, and no. of fatalities and injuries in Mashhad City. To achieve this goal, traffic volume, injuries and fatalities and speed average data, as well as Metro and Bus average daily ridership were gathered and covered a 5-year period (from April 2016 to November 2021. Selected timeframe covers both normal traffic related situation period and the period when COVID-19 pandemic impacted various traffic related indicators including reduced volume during lockdown and subsequent restrictions in Iran. Since Mashhad is one of the destinations of religious tourism, information on air, rail and land travel was also collected to measure the impact of changes in these indicators on traffic safety.
Comparing the four-year data before the pandemic with one year after it showed that although the average monthly travel of bus passengers from other cities of Khorasan Razavi province to Mashhad decreased by 33% during this period, but no. of passengers from other provinces decreased by 69%.
The comparison of the above index for air and rail passengers showed a decrease of 76.8% and 43.6%, respectively.
While 27% decrease in the average hourly traffic was observed, contrary to expectations, the average speed of cars on urban highways did not change at all. The reduction in the average number of traffic deaths was 9% while it was 13% for the injured.