The role of deliberate planning, car habit and resistance to change in public transportation mode use

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date


Subject Area

ridership - attitudes, ridership - mode choice, planning - surveys, ridership - behaviour, place - europe, place - urban


Resistance to change, Car, Public transport, Norway, Social influence, Environment


Few studies have examined the role of deliberate planning, car habit and resistance to change in relation to transportation mode use. The aim of this study was to examine the relative role of components in the Theory of Planned Behavior (TPB), car habit and resistance to change in use of public transportation. A postal questionnaire survey was carried out in a randomly obtained representative sample (n = 1039) of the Norwegian population living in the six largest urban areas of Norway. The sample was randomly recruited from the Norwegian population registry. The results showed that an isolated TPB-model was better fitted to the data than an isolated habit-resistance to change model. The isolated TPB also explained substantially more of the variance in intentions to use public transport compared to the habit-based model. A combined model including the TPB, car habit and resistance to change was also found to have good fit. Within this model, the most important predictor of intentions to use public transport was strong subjective norms of public transportation mode use. Favorable attitudes towards public transport mode use were weakly related to intentions, when car habit and resistance to change were accounted for in the model. Perceived control was not mediated by intentions to use public transport and solely related directly to use. Car habit was a negative predictor of these intentions. It is concluded that car habit is not the sole factor related to intentions of using public transportation and that social cognition and social influence are instrumental in promoting use of such transportation. Use of public transportation seems to partly reflect a planned and deliberate psychological process.


Permission to publish the abstract has been given by Elsevier, copyright remains with them.


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