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Views on public transport and how personal experiences can contribute to a more positive attitude

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STRIA Roadmaps
Smart mobility and services (SMO)
Transport policies
Societal/Economic issues
Transport sectors
Passenger transport



The overall purpose of the project is to use a before and after study to evaluate the effect of a pilot project in which individuals who were not already travelling on public transport got to try it for two weeks.

Another aim is to offer an account of attitudes towards public transport in purely general terms, and the differences between those who travel by car and those who use public transport.


110 residents of urban Motala (living within a radius of 3 km from Motala travel centre) took part in the before study. In the study, the participants were asked whether they were interested in trying public transport, which meant that they would be given a free travel pass worth SEK 500, valid for 14 days. This question was directly solely at those who, at the time of the study, were not using public transport to make their most common trip. Among those who responded to the before questionnaire were 11 people who were willing to take part and who also met the criterion. This was an insufficient number, so recruiting was also carried out via social media.

The final number of people who tried out public transport was 41; these people also completed the after questionnaire.


To summarise, the study showed that those who never travelled by bus or train were more negatively disposed toward those modes of transport although this could have been an option. For those who travelled solely by car, the key factors that led them not to choose the train or bus were that travelling in that way did not give them the same time to themselves as a car trip, that the trips were not as pleasant, and that the travel was too slow. This was reflected in their comments as well, where particular emphasis was placed on the need for more frequent departures. The differences between the participants’ attitudes before and after they tried public transport themselves may be summarised as follows:

  • attitudes toward means of public transport became more positive after trying it, particularly with regard to buses
  • the participants’ intentions of using public transport in the future increased
  • a major share of those who had previously considered taking public transport began to use public transport after trying it
  • some participants had no intention of continuing to travel by public transport in the future
  • those who did not intend to use public transport in the future had a more negative attitude toward it
  • according to a number of participants, the ability to obtain information in real time and to obtain information about disruptions could make it easier to take public transport
  • roughly three months after the trial period, 39 per cent of the participants were continuing to travel by bus and 19 per cent by train.



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