Exploring Market Support for New Products and Services for Transit and Walking: New Market Research Approach

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date


Subject Area

planning - surveys, ridership - mode choice, ridership - attitudes, mode - mass transit, mode - pedestrian


Walking, Travel behavior, Transit services, Transit, Social factors, Public transit, Products, Panel surveys, Mode choice, Modal choice, Mobility, Mental attitudes, Mass transit, Market research, Local transit, Choice of transportation, Behavior modification, Attitudes, Acceptance


This paper concerns the relationship between mobility products and services and the propensity to change travel behavior. In an online panel survey, 501 respondents answered questions about their attitudes toward increasing their use of transit and walking. The questions first established base conditions for variables specified by the theory of planned behavior. Respondents were then exposed to seven products and services. A follow-up set of questions revealed shifts in key attitudes. New products and services may influence the traveler’s personal inclination to change modal behavior, belief that a change in modal behavior might be socially acceptable, and belief or self-confidence that he or she can change modal behavior. These three attitudinal categories were examined for four market segments, two more positive and two more negative. The positive segments included the transit loyalists, who were already heavy users of transit, and the environmental mode changers, who were not heavy transit users but who wanted to help the environment. Both positive segments significantly shifted their ratings of the social acceptability of transit with the improvements. However, the segments differed in terms of what factors were associated with the improved social acceptability. For the environmental mode changers, the strongest association was with concern about being lost or stranded on public transportation, whereas for the transit loyalists, the strongest association was with being able to depend on public transportation to be timely. However, it is unclear from this research which products and services contribute to improved social acceptability.