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Want to change urban transportation demands? Change human behaviour first.

Posted by Emily O'Dowd on Jun 1, 2017

As we are aware, traffic anWant to change urban transportation demands? You'll have to change human behaviour first.d congestion remain a major issue for cities worldwide, even those with advanced mobility options. An extensive Urban Travel report looks into some of the reasons for this. Why do people continue to drive in their cars despite the new technologies, updated infrastructure and expanded mobility choices which are surfacing to ease the hassle of travelling within urban areas? Conduent, a public transportation and mobility solution provider has surveyed customer experience for mobility in 23 cities across 15 countries. They concluded that the biggest factor in improving urban travel is changing human behaviour. The survey suggests that transportation is a personal decision which takes into account speed, comfort and cost. So what is the most effective way to incentivise people to use public mobility options?

"Nearly half of all respondents believe they will have one app for their transportation needs by 2020."

“Providing more choices in line with our personal situations is key to changing behaviour. For example, cities should introduce more options for getting around, incentivise people to choose alternatives, and provide innovative apps that enable people to think mode-agnostically, making better decisions for themselves and everyone else,” said Don Hubicki, executive vice president, Conduent, Public Sector, Transportation.

The survey deduces that transportation isn’t a rational choice and that people chose “driving their own car” over other modes of transport due to comfort (54%), ease of access (47%) and reliability (39%). This is the even the most preferred option despite the frequent delays when travelling around the city. This indicates that transportation decisions are influenced heavily by habits, convenience and personal preferences influenced by factors such as infrastructure, culture and demographics.

“People’s preferred travel choices aren’t always best for their communities. It’s time to think beyond transportation silos and present alternative options to create a better, more seamless travel experience,” said Hubicki. “Despite an over-reliance on cars, our survey shows more than half of respondents find the proposition of a multimodal experience appealing.”

Click here to read the digital guide - Protecting Rail and Metro From Cyber Security ThreatsMultimodal systems allow commuters to use more than one mode of transportation per journey. For example, someone might choose to ride a bus to the nearest train station, then take the train to their destination. This system provides greater travel flexibility and helps solve the “first-mile, last-mile” problem.

Making a multimodal system a reality requires urban planners to look for levers that can drive change, such as speed and reliability of services, education and information. Respondents rated reliability of services (83%) and information (81%) as fairly or very important for future travel. In addition, nearly three quarters of respondents said they’d likely be encouraged to ride public transit more frequently if the journey time was faster.

Another step cities can take to show progress toward delivering an innovative solution that eases travel woes is to roll out travel apps showing all available modes and routes for commuters to reach their destination. Nearly half of all respondents believe they will have one app for their transportation needs by 2020.

“The future of transportation is a combination of what’s possible and what’s needed,” said Hubicki. “People often don’t know there’s a better way, so when they imagine the future, they’re limited by their current experiences and perceptions of travel. There is an opportunity to educate and show the way forward.”

Visit Conduent's website here: 

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Topics: Passenger Information Systems, urbanmobility

Emily O'Dowd

Written by Emily O'Dowd

On graduating with a degree in English Literature at Royal Holloway University of London, Emily joined the editorial team. When she isn't writing articles for the website or interviewing experts in the industry she enjoys reading, running and sailing.

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