Designing Better Public Transport: Understanding Mode Choice Preferences Following the COVID-19 Pandemic

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Abstract

Transport behaviour has evidently changed following the COVID-19 pandemic, with lower usage across multiple modes of public transport and an increasing use of private vehicles. This is problematic as private vehicle use has been linked to an increase in traffic-related air pollutants, and consequently global warming and health-related issues. Hence, it is important to capture transport mode choice preferences following the pandemic, so that potential service changes can be made to address the lower usage. In total, 1138 respondents took part in an online discrete choice experiment methodology to quantify the utility of public transport service attributes in decision making around the choice of public transport. The data resulted in the development of three models using a multinomial logit model in R. For respondents on personal or commuting journeys, the mode of transport had no effect on utility. Results found that fare cost was the most important factor driving transport mode preference, when a range of choices were available. Following this, keeping fare cost consistent, faster journey times were preferred to stronger access to transport (i.e., through the provision of more bus stops/stations). The provision of operational relevant information to the journey was only significantly valued by commuters and travellers who could claim their journey as a business expense. Finally, when cost became less relevant (i.e., for travellers on expensed journeys), there was a significantly strong preference for taxi and road vehicle transport over all other transport modes. The results from this empirical research are discussed and the implications of recent transport policy are discussed, and recommendations of public transport service design are made.
Original languageEnglish
Article number5952
Number of pages15
JournalSustainability
Volume14
Issue number10
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 13 May 2022

Bibliographical note

This article is an open access article distributed under the terms and
conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) license (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/).

Keywords

  • public transport
  • discrete choice
  • preferences
  • policy
  • service design
  • survey

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