Consequences of obtaining a driving licence for transport mode choice and attitudes towards public transport

Document Type

Conference Paper

Publication Date


Subject Area

ridership - mode choice, ridership - attitudes


Analysis show that when an individual passes the driving exam, the pattern of travel and attitudes towards public transport changes. He or she will statistically travel less by public transport. Access to car is significant for choice of transport mode as well. What happens in this transition from being a captive public transport user to becoming a car user? Young people who recently have obtained a driving licence are in an important phase when it comes to travel mode choice. Analysis of panel surveys carried through in 10 Norwegian urban areas over a 2 year period indicates that the travel activity in general increases when you get your driving licence. Journeys by car constitute the increase. While journey made by bike, as a pedestrian or as a car passenger do not change significantly, our research shows that journeys made by public transport are reduced among those who have obtained their driving licence in this period. In other words, it is first and foremost public transport that looses market shares when youth obtain their driving licences. Youth often do have a lot of experience with using public transport, but is in danger of becoming a lost customer group for public transport when driving licences – and later car ownership – is within reach. We find that it is very important to learn more about the changes in driving licence holding, and throw light on possible causes for change. More knowledge about these mechanisms is essential for the public transport sectors capability to adjust the supply to the needs of this group. In this way only can the sector contribute in keeping youth as customers when the car becomes a possible alternative for travel.


Permission to publish abstract given by AET.