Understanding attitudes towards public transport and private car: A qualitative study

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date


Subject Area

infrastructure - vehicle, planning - service quality, ridership - attitudes, mode - mass transit


Travel behavior, Transportation policy, Transit, Service quality, Quality of service, Public transit, Private passenger vehicles, Portugal, Passenger service quality, Mental attitudes, Mass transit, Local transit, Level of service, Automobile use, Automobile usage, Automobile travel, Attitudes


This paper presents the results of a qualitative study of public transport users and car users in order to obtain a deeper understanding of travellers' attitudes towards transport and to explore perceptions of public transport service quality. The key findings indicate that in order to increase public transport usage, the service should be designed in a way that accommodates the levels of service required by customers and by doing so, attract potential users. Furthermore, the choice of transport is influenced by several factors, such as individual characteristics and lifestyle, the type of journey, the perceived service performance of each transport mode and situational variables. This suggests the need for segmentation taking into account travel attitudes and behaviours. Policies which aim to influence car usage should be targeted at the market segments that are most motivated to change and willing to reduce frequency of car use.


Transport Policy Home Page: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/journal/0967070X