Explaining public transport information use when a car is available: attitude theory empirically investigated

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date


Subject Area

place - europe, ridership - attitudes, ridership - behaviour, technology - passenger information, mode - mass transit


Travel information, Pre-trip information, Public transport, Attitude theory, Extended model of goal-directed behaviour (EMGB), Theory of planned behaviour (TPB), Structural equation modelling


Despite recent investments in and growing availability of various public transport information services, levels of apparent non-use (of particular information services) across the population remain high. Policymakers and information service providers could benefit from a better understanding of factors affecting information use. The goal of this paper is to provide more insight into the (non-)use of public transport information by applying attitude theory. A postal survey was sent to a random sample of 10,000 households in Bristol and Manchester, UK. The response rate was 13%. Respondents were questioned about an uncertain journey they were going to make. Structural equation modelling has been used to investigate interdependencies among the factors studied. The results show that the desire to consult public transport information for an uncertain journey is affected by attitudes, subjective norms, and past behaviour. These social-psychological factors are in turn affected by constraints such as travel behaviour and trip context. Crucially in terms of addressing issues of non-use of information it is found that consulting information is influenced by propensity to consider using public transport rather than vice versa as has hitherto been implicitly assumed by many involved in the provision of transport and information services.