Developing public transport messaging to provide crowding information during COVID-19: Application of the COM-B model and behaviour change wheel

Adele Krusche, Laura Joanne Wilde, Daniela Ghio, Cora Morrissey, Alex Froom, Daniel Chick

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    7 Citations (Scopus)
    57 Downloads (Pure)


    The COVID-19 outbreak meant that using public transport was potentially unsafe for risk of catching and transmitting the virus. UK anxiety is high with lockdowns preventing a normal way of life for over a year. A lack of ability to travel freely causes numerous declines in quality of life including social isolation and poor physical and mental health. People need crowding information to choose safer travel options and subdue coronavirus. To provide effective guidance, it is essential to empirically formulate messaging to create clarity and trust which can be acted upon in confidence. Behaviour Change Techniques incorporating the Behaviour Change Wheel and COM-B model have been utilised in vast areas of public health intervention development and messaging. There is consensus that public transport information needs to be clearer and more accessible but BCTs have not been utilised in the development of public transport advice. This paper outlines the development of crowding messaging for public transport on a platform available to UK travellers. Barriers and facilitators were explored; related behaviours, intervention functions and behaviour change techniques were mapped. Specific message phrasing was developed utilising the mapped functions and advice from the literature. With the COVID-19 outbreak, having accessible and effective messaging for safely using public transport is a continuation of the work recently conducted examining the best ways to present public health information. It is important to be transparent when developing messaging and interventions accessible to the public and this work forms a basis for continued exploration and development in this area.
    Original languageEnglish
    Article number100564
    Number of pages9
    JournalTransportation Research Interdisciplinary Perspectives
    Early online date22 Feb 2022
    Publication statusPublished - Mar 2022

    Bibliographical note

    This is an open access article under the CC BY license (


    Zipabout Ltd


    • Behaviour change
    • covid-19
    • crowding information
    • Intervention development
    • public health messages
    • Public transport


    Dive into the research topics of 'Developing public transport messaging to provide crowding information during COVID-19: Application of the COM-B model and behaviour change wheel'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

    Cite this