User Needs for Urban Car Travel Can Demand-Responsive Transport Break Dependence on the Car?

Teemu Sihvola*, Jani-Pekka Jokinen, Reijo Sulonen

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

    5 Citations (Scopus)

    Abstract

    The results of in-depth interviews with focus groups on user needs for urban car travel in the Helsinki, Finland, metropolitan area are presented. The interviews concentrated on determination of the instrumental motives for dependence on the car by a sample consisting of various types of urban travelers who described their three most typical trip types in three situations used to guide the discussion: (a) when the car is the only possible travel mode option, (b) when the car is the best travel mode option, and (c) when disadvantages to the use of a car exist. Findings were used to reveal attribute and attitude patterns. A description of user needs was then formulated on the basis of these patterns. Two significant motives for use of a car were insufficient public transport connections and the need for temporal flexibility. The analysis indicated that a mass demand-responsive transport (DRT) service can be used to respond to the main user needs detected. A new mass DRT concept is therefore proposed, and the means by which it could affect urban travel is analyzed nonempirically. Nevertheless, some user attributes support use of a car. As a counterbalance to these attributes, however, there are perceived disadvantages to use of a car. The results argue for serious consideration of whether to apply the proposed DRT concept to mass transit in urban areas.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)75-81
    Number of pages7
    JournalTransportation Research Record
    Issue number2277
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 2012
    MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed

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