C Wright
J Egan

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date


Subject Area

planning - marketing/promotion, ridership - drivers, mode - mass transit


Travel by mode, Travel behavior, Transportation policy, Transit, Public transit, Mass transit, Marketing, Local transit, Decision making, Automobile use, Automobile usage, Automobile travel, Automobile driving, Automobile drivers


Governments in many countries are experimenting with alternative methods for reducing car use including congestion charges, higher fuel taxes, and improved public transport. The authors of this paper consider the novel concept of de-marketing the private car as a status symbol and convenient accessory of modern life. In contrast with other public transport campaigns, de-marketing would focus on people's self-image rather than their sense of public duty. The authors draw on established theory in putting forward alternative themes aimed at particular categories of car users and particular categories of car journeys, and briefly consider the strengths and weaknesses of each approach. Peer group pressure could be an important factor in helping to change attitudes among potential car users at the opinion-forming stage in their lifetime. Public transport companies, local authorities, health organizations, and environmental lobbying groups are best positioned to deliver an effective national campaign of car de-marketing by a coordinated approach that could bring about a modest contribution toward travel reduction at a low cost.


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