The project REACTIVA was an in-depth study on people's travel behaviour. It focused on the exploitation and quantification of psychological and social factors which influence modal choice and affect negatively the use of public transport.
The main objective of REACTIVA was to improve perception of public transport and thereby facilitate the development of a sustainable transport system.
Its specific objectives were:
- Define the concept of "ideal transport" for each mode, in order to compare the ideal and the real services being currently offered.
- Study the needs not covered/satisfied by public transport in its different configurations.
- Make proposals for actions (which are feasible to implement by decision-makers, city officials and managers/operators) to meet the needs of the demand and change the prejudices that may exist.
- Develop a segmentation analysis of "non-public transport customers" in order to characterize the existence of groups of users with similar characteristics showing common rejection factors for public modes.
This research developed a new approach based on methodologies from social research and markets that were applied to quantify and evaluate the behaviour of non-users of public transport (i.e. groups of people that normally choose not to use public transport for their trips).
The REACTIVA project highlighted the key influence of habitudes and attitudes as main inductors for users regarding their modal choice.
Attitudes towards the most used transport system (public or private) are closely tied to individual experiences, with outstanding presence of bad experiences in the case of public transport. On the other hand, attitudes towards the less employed transport system are guided by the social imaginary or distant experiences.
After analysing the surveys, the REACTIVA research team developed ten action plans containing 31 proposals aimed at promoting collective transport systems. They range from educating towards use of sustainable public transport to customizing public transportation to individual habits or to increase the perception of safety of the transportation system.