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Transport Direct Market Research

United Kingdom
United Kingdom Flag
Complete with results
Geo-spatial type
Project Acronym
STRIA Roadmaps
Network and traffic management systems (NTM)
Smart mobility and services (SMO)
Transport mode
Multimodal icon
Transport sectors
Passenger transport


Background & Policy context

Transport Direct was announced in July 2000 as part of the Government's ten-year spending plan for transport. It is an ambitious Programme to provide the U.K. with a travel information service that can present the public with the opportunity to compare travel options across public and private transport modes. Using the Internet as its principal delivery medium it seeks to offer a one-stop-shop journey planning, booking and payment service, complemented with real-time update information. This market research will aim to canvass opinions from the general public to help inform the future direction of the Transport Direct programme.


This project will establish what the public wants from Transport Direct, which aspects they will use and whether it will have any impact on their travel behaviour. For Transport Direct to be effective as an information service it will need to be useful, usable and used.

To be useful it will have to provide access to information that is of relevance and value to end-users. To be usable it will need to provide a service structure and interface that is intuitive and easy to use providing quick and convenient access to information sought.

To be used the public will need to be aware of its existence, know how to access it, have the means to access it and consider it their preferred service in an information marketplace that is already well populated with a range of different types of travel information services.


Parent Programmes
Institution Type
Public institution
Institution Name
Department for Transport
Type of funding
Public (national/regional/local)


The then DTLR commissioned a comprehensive review of previous, current and planned research in many of these key areas of relevance to Transport Direct. Further to this, a market research programme was initiated with the intention of addressing two overarching and inter-related questions:

  • What specific characteristics and features should the Transport Direct service possess in order to satisfy the requirements of its prospective users?
  • And what demand will there be for such a service and what will it be used for?

Phase 1 of the programme has seen four market research (MR) projects subsequently undertaken and completed, under the guidance of a stakeholder steering group.

1. The first project, End legs and interchanges, has sought to consider the role of car, taxi, walking and cycling in facilitating a journey made principally by public transport. Its aim has been to assess to what extent these modes are perceived as a barrier to considering public transport overall as an option for a journey and to what extent, and what types of information concerning these modes might enhance confidence and (perception of) convenience of public transport.

2. The second project, Traveling by car, is based on the premise that Transport Direct should seek to ensure that the public can compare different options for their journeys and that this takes place on a 'level playing field'.

3. The third project, ticket purchase, real time information and willingness to pay, had three tasks. Firstly to assess in its own terms, and in relative terms (when compared against other requirements from Transport Direct), how important the opportunity to book and pay for tickets as part of a Transport Direct service is to the public and how important it is to 'clinching the deal' when an individual might otherwise be inclined to renege on their intent to travel by public transport rather than by car. Secondly, to explore pu

Technical Implications

Policy implications

From this first Phase of the Market Research Programme, a number of areas meriting possible further research have been identified including:

  • Mobile Phones and Text Messaging - One of the most prominent messages from the market research to date is that the public consider mobile phones and SMS messaging to be a suitable means of accessing and receiving information;
  • Car journey time reliability - The market research to date reinforces the need for Transport Direct to cater for the needs of the motorist;
  • Printed Information - In many cases the information that an individual locates in their use of Transport Direct will be printed out for them to take away for later reference.

Decision-support tools

Key Findings

This decision support tools project programme has seen four market research projects completed,  which have sought to understand the potential demand for a transport direct public information interface.  The projects relate specifically to the sub themes of transport planning and management systems, as well as European transport information systems especially as concerned with information systems for intermodal transport. 


Lead Organisation
EU Contribution
Partner Organisations
EU Contribution


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