Project: Market Research

Reference: UG432B

Last update: 10/11/2003 14:38:21

Objectives

The aim of this project is to establish what the public wants from Transport Direct, which aspects they will use and whether it will have any impact on their travel behaviour.

Description

Transport Direct can only go ahead with the support of transport operators and others. Transport operators have already indicated that they would like to see evidence of public demand for the service before committing time and resources to the programme. This market research will canvass opinions from the general public to help inform the future direction of the Transport Direct programme.

There are four areas of research. This contract covers only two of these areas.

MR02 - Travelling by Car
This project seeks to assess the types of information that would be useful to travellers considering a door-to-door journey by car:
- information that would assist in the mode choice decision
- information that would assist in making the journey itself.

It will assess how such information preferences vary by type of person, type of journey and the journey purpose

MR03 - Ticketing, Real-Time Information, and Willingness to Pay
This project involves qualitative research to determine the types of factors or issues that will influence the demand for key components to Transport Direct, in addition to the journey planning facility, namely: ticket purchase and booking facilities; and real time information.

A second objective of the project is to assess the extent to which people would be prepared to pay for Transport Direct; for what, how and how much?

Contractor(s)

Transport and Travel Research Ltd (Oxon)
30 High Street, Woodstock, Oxfordshire, OX20 1TG

Contract details

Cost to the Department: £43,555.00

Actual start date: 12 February 2002

Actual completion date: 27 August 2002

Publication(s)

Travelling by Car
Author: I Bewick, P Barham, D Fereday
Publication date: 04/11/2002
Source: DfT Website
More information: http://www.dft.gov.uk/stellent/groups/dft_control/documents/contentservertemplate/dft_index.hcst?n=8105&l=3

Summary of results

  1. - Preference for car use over public transport use is in terms of choosing the lesser of two evils - the public are frustrated by traffic conditions during their car journeys but perceive the overall situation for the public transport alternative to be worse
    - In light of the above, information concerning road network disruptions is valued and should be a priority feature for Transport Direct alongside other car travel information items that have the prospect of offering added-value to existing driver information services - by attracting those seeking driver information to Transport Direct there is then the prospect of them being exposed to information on alternative travel modes
    - Habitual car use and patterns of travel leads to a lack of need to seek information when making many journeys, this being especially true for young and old male car users
    - Notwithstanding the point above, a modest but potentially significant proportion of travellers appear prepared to review their travel choices
    - The concept of Transport Direct was generally well received by car users though many remain unconvinced that the public transport systems themselves can deliver in line with the information provided, there is also concern that the service must be transparent and offer a level playing field in its provision of information
    - Lack of Internet access or a hesitancy to use the Internet remain issues in terms of using a single channel of delivery for Transport Direct; other substitute or complementary forms of access media are familiar and comfortable to car users (notably mobile phone text messaging) and may prove more appropriate and convenient to use in certain circumstances than desktop-based Internet access

Departmental Assessment Status: Project completed prior to the implementation of the Departmental publicaitons scheme.