Since the beginning of the pandemic, Sweden has been a hot topic for its unique approach not to go for a complete lockdown. To act in accordance with the recommendations from Sweden’s Public Health Agency, the public transport company in Gothenburg, Västtrafik, wanted to do something to help prevent the virus from spreading even more. 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.
“If more people have the possibility to walk instead of taking the bus or tram in Gothenburg, we encourage that. That way we make it safer for those who really need to use public transports,” said Lars Backström, CEO of 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.
The map, with the number of steps between stops added, is a simple reminder that distances are quite short in the city center 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.
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