Increasing the attractiveness of public transport by investing in soft ICT based measures: Going from words to actions under an austerity backdrop – Thessaloniki's case, Greece

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date


Subject Area

place - europe, ridership - perceptions, ridership - mode choice, planning - service improvement, planning - service quality, operations - scheduling, economics - value of time, economics - benefits


PT, Time savings, ICT, Harmonized timetables, E-tickets


Thessaloniki undergoes radical changes; the city, although negatively affected by the recurrent effects of the economic crisis, is tentatively moving along the path to recovery. Taking advantage of lower rates in car use due to economic reasons, a Public Transport (PT) system reform, where the impact of adding value can thus be bigger, should be posed at the crux of the city's agenda. This reform refers to a provision of services contributing to the development of “accessible – affordable – high-quality” PT, which should, however, be based on “smart-and-soft” interventions that respect the limited budget while upgrading the perceived PT quality. Based on a dedicated examination of Thessaloniki, this paper seeks to determine users' needs and the impact on perceived time savings (and on modal shift) of key investments based on the exploitation of Information and Communications Technology (ICT) for PT. The paper examines the soft interventions because the current economic system cannot afford extra pressure from the adoption of costly measures. The paper concludes by verifying that ICT can play a catalytic role in changing passengers' perception concerning time savings and can encourage passengers to use PT more often.


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


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