Project: Transport Direct: Market Research MR03

Reference: UG432E

Last update: 11/11/2003 14:53:53

Objectives

This market research will aim to canvass opinions from the general public to help inform the future direction of the Transport Direct programme.

Description

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.

Contractor(s)

Transport & Travel Research Ltd
Minster House, Minster Pool Walk, Lichfield, Staffordshire, WS13 6QT
0154 416416

Contract details

Cost to the Department: £25,455.32

Actual start date: 20 January 2002

Actual completion date: 28 August 2002

Publication(s)

Ticketing Real-Time Information and Willingness to pay
Author: Transport & Travel Research Ltd
Publication date: 31/08/2002
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. Transport Direct should include booking and payment, but if it is to attract customers from the substantial population who value reassurance and 'face-to-face' contact, it should incorporate some advice, support and recommendations - perhaps via a complementary telephone service
    - an Internet-based information service is attractive in terms of avoiding queues, planning from the home etc. but because of (current) concerns over payment fraud there could also be a significant barrier to 'clinching the deal'
    - the delivery of Transport Direct through interactive TV should be investigated in order to benefit from the familiarity and spontaneity of access and for those not owning a PC
    Real-time information
    - a push-media aspect to real-time information would be welcomed but should be user-configurable so that information is relevant, as well as timely
    - 'on-demand' real-time information is also desirable, enabling travellers to request information when they required it and accommodating the resistance by some to interruptions (from push-media) while travelling and a tendency among older persons to switch their mobile phones off when not making outgoing calls
    - pre-booked public transport journeys have fixed routes and times which are a strong disincentive to planning around problems and hence the perceived value of real-time information can be devalued
    - the most popular pre-trip delivery mechanisms for real-time information are the television and telephone - Internet access of real-time information is currently low
    - for in-trip information, mobile phones and SMS are the preferred choice and should be investigated in parallel as complimentary delivery mechanisms for the Transport Direct Internet-based service.
    Willingness to pay
    - (initial) provision of free information within Transport Direct is likely to prove valuable in building demand for the service, reassurance and trust
    - real-time operational performance and personalised updates are the area where Transport Direct has scope to charge for its services, with some possible scope also for destination information for tourism purposes
    - willingness to pay is linked to a wish to be advised on a course of action and expected benefits in the case of disruption rather than 'simply' be informed of problems and delay

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