Assessing the interaction between transport policy targets and policy implementation—A Finnish case study

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date


Subject Area

ridership - commuting


transport policy, policy targets, policy implementation, policy assessment, framework, interaction


This article explores the potential of a target analysis method in acting as a link between policy objectives, targets, measures and their implementation in order to intensify the policy process. The context is the information-abundant policy environment where feasibility conditions keep constantly changing. The policy process frameworks for bounded rationality and experiential incrementalism are used as a basis for exploration and complemented with our target analysis, which is tested with a case of Finnish transport policy targets. We argue that by studying synergies and conflicts as well as other dependencies between the targets presented in policy statements and also by examining the possible support or opposition of main stakeholder groups for the policy measures to meet the targets, we can appraise the potential success of the transport policy implementation. Our case study, the Finnish transport policy, presented targets with quite a clear direction, with a lot of weak synergies and only a few serious conflicts. The implementation of the policy measures, presented to meet these targets will, however, be demanding because of several reasons related to the challenges to governance that are emerging from the complex and continually changing linkages between and among transport (policy) problems, targets and their consequences. The method we presented and tested proved to be useful in bringing transport policy targets closer to policy implementation by considering policy measures to meet the targets and their acceptance as a part of the target or objective analysis process. The findings suggest that linking these often detached parts of the policy process together the co-ordination will be improved and the process hence intensified. The target analysis presented could act as an originator for a more open, interactive and particularly systematic process in transport policy formulation, leading through social learning into a more successful implementation of policies.


Permission to publish the abstract given by Elsevier. Copyright remains with Elsevier.


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