What Do People Know About Their Public Transport Options? Investigating the Memory Representations of Public Transport through Telephone Interviews in a Residential Area of Stockholm, Sweden


Katrin Dziekan

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date


Subject Area

operations - traffic, ridership - mode choice, mode - mass transit


Transportation modes, Transportation corridors, Transit, Traffic corridors, Stockholm (Sweden), Public transit, Modes, Mode choice, Modal choice, Memory, Mass transit, Local transit, Knowledge, Corridors (Transportation), Choice of transportation


The term "memory representations" in the context of public transportation refers to both spatial representations of the public transportation system and knowledge that serves as basis when making travel mode, route or destination choices. This paper studies the memory representations of residents of a residential inner-city area in Stockholm regarding the public transport system in their city. Route knowledge questions, recognition tasks, free-recall tasks and estimations of service frequency were used to explore memory representations. The results showed that, in general, residents in metropolitan areas have good knowledge of the public transport options along well-known transport corridors. The memory representation of lesser-known transport corridors tends to be of a poorer quality. Experience appeared to increase knowledge, but variables such as gender, age, employment status, level of education and car availability had no correlation with the quality of the memory representation. Although frequent users of public transport had a more detailed representation of the system, the less frequent users also had a considerable and good memory representation. These results support an explorative hypothesis that public transportation lines that are more visible in the urban area, travel on main streets and that are labeled are easier to retrieve from memory.