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Perceived Accessibility: Living a satisfactory life with help of the transport system
Karlstad University, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (starting 2013), Service Research Center (from 2013). Karlstad University, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (starting 2013), Department of Social and Psychological Studies (from 2013).ORCID iD: 0000-0001-5398-6633
2018 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

This thesis fills a gap in contemporary transport research and planning as it introduces perceived accessibility as a theoretical and methodological concept for incorporating the individual dimension of accessibility in current practice. Perceived accessibility is defined as “how easy it is to live a satisfactory life with the help of the transport system”, and is proposed as a complement to objective measures and understandings of accessibility.

The thesis includes three studies. Study I developed a measure for capturing perceived accessibility with a specific transport mode, based on theories and conceptualizations of accessibility. Study II looked at determinants of perceived accessibility, and Study III further developed the measure of perceived accessibility to include actual travel (combinations of transport modes), and explored the relation between perceived accessibility and objectively measured accessibility for the same geographical area in Sweden. In all, the thesis provides background ideas and theory on perceived accessibility, and a validated quantitative approach to capturing perceived accessibility in day-to-day travel. Empirical findings further support the complementary nature of the approach and results indicate that assessments of perceived accessibility may be helpful in determining where to direct interventions aiming at improving accessibility by evaluating different transport modes or different segments of individuals. The method developed for capturing perceived accessibility shows merit in contributing to further theory development on accessibility by its ability to identify determinants of perceived accessibility and its potential in identifying segments of the population that experience significantly lower accessibility than other groups, and thus are at risk of experiencing social exclusion or suffer from transport disadvantage.

Abstract [en]

This thesis introduces perceived accessibility as a theoretical and methodological concept for including the individual dimension of accessibility in transport research and planning. Perceived accessibility is defined as “how easy it is to live a satisfactory life with the help of the transport system”, and as it captures individual experiences and abilities, it is proposed as a complement to objective measures and understandings of accessibility.

The thesis includes three studies. Study I developed a measure for capturing perceived accessibility with a specific transport mode, based on theories and conceptualizations of accessibility. Study II looked at determinants of perceived accessibility, and Study III further developed the measure of perceived accessibility to include actual travel (combinations of transport modes), and explored the relation between perceived accessibility and objectively measured accessibility for the same geographical area in Sweden. In all, the thesis provides background ideas and theory on perceived accessibility, a validated quantitative approach to capturing perceived accessibility in day-to-day travel, and empirical findings supporting the complementary nature of the approach and its potential to differentiate between individuals.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Karlstad: Karlstads universitet, 2018. , p. 77
Series
Karlstad University Studies, ISSN 1403-8099 ; 2018:50
Keywords [en]
Perceived accessibility, accessibility measure, transport planning, travel experience, sustainable transport, public transport
Keywords [sv]
Upplevd tillgänglighet, tillgänglighetsmått, transportplanering, hållbara transporter, hållbart resande, kollektivtrafik
National Category
Psychology
Research subject
Psychology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:kau:diva-69845ISBN: 978-91-7063-890-9 (print)ISBN: 978-91-7063-985-2 (electronic)OAI: oai:DiVA.org:kau-69845DiVA, id: diva2:1258116
Public defence
2018-12-18, 11D 257, Agardhsalen, Universitetsgatan 2, Karlstad, 10:00 (Swedish)
Opponent
Supervisors
Projects
Mistra SAMS (Sustainable Accessibility and Mobility Services)Available from: 2018-11-28 Created: 2018-10-24 Last updated: 2018-11-28Bibliographically approved
List of papers
1. Development and test of the perceived accessibility scale (PAC) in public transport
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Development and test of the perceived accessibility scale (PAC) in public transport
2016 (English)In: Journal of Transport Geography, ISSN 0966-6923, E-ISSN 1873-1236, Vol. 54, p. 257-263Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Elsevier, 2016
National Category
Psychology
Research subject
Psychology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kau:diva-42993 (URN)10.1016/j.jtrangeo.2016.06.015 (DOI)000382344800026 ()
Available from: 2016-06-15 Created: 2016-06-15 Last updated: 2018-10-24Bibliographically approved
2. Perceived Accessibility of Public Transport as a Potential Indicator of Social Inclusion
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Perceived Accessibility of Public Transport as a Potential Indicator of Social Inclusion
2016 (English)In: Social Inclusion, ISSN 2183-2803, E-ISSN 2183-2803, Vol. 4, no 3, p. 36-45Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Perceived accessibility has been acknowledged as an important aspect of transport policy since the 70s. Nevertheless, very few empirical studies have been conducted in this field. When aiming to improve social inclusion, by making sus-tainable transport modes accessible to all, it is important to understand the factors driving perceived accessibility. Un-like conventional accessibility measures, perceived accessibility focuses on the perceived possibilities and ease of en-gaging in preferred activities using different transport modes. We define perceived accessibility in terms of how easy it is to live a satisfactory life with the help of the transport system, which is not necessarily the same thing as the objec-tive standard of the system. According to previous research, perceived accessibility varies with the subjectively-rated quality of the mode of transport. Thus, improvements in quality (e.g. trip planning, comfort, or safety) increase the per-ceived accessibility and make life easier to live using the chosen mode of transport. This study (n=750) focuses on the perceived accessibility of public transport, captured using the Perceived Accessibility Scale PAC (Lättman, Olsson, & Fri-man, 2015). More specifically, this study aims to determine how level of quality affects the perceived accessibility in public transport. A Conditional Process Model shows that, in addition to quality, feeling safe and frequency of travel are important predictors of perceived accessibility. Furthermore, elderly and those in their thirties report a lower level of perceived accessibility to their day-to-day activities using public transport. The basic premise of this study is that sub-jective experiences may be as important as objective indicators when planning and designing for socially inclusive transport systems.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Lisbon: Cogitatio, 2016
Keywords
perceived accessibility, public transport, social exclusion, social inclusion, subjective well-being, transport planning
National Category
Psychology
Research subject
Psychology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kau:diva-42572 (URN)10.17645/si.v4i3.481 (DOI)000383363400004 ()
Funder
VINNOVA, 2014-05335
Available from: 2016-05-27 Created: 2016-05-27 Last updated: 2018-10-24Bibliographically approved
3. A new approach to accessibility – Examining perceived accessibility in contrast to objectively measured accessibility in daily travel
Open this publication in new window or tab >>A new approach to accessibility – Examining perceived accessibility in contrast to objectively measured accessibility in daily travel
2018 (English)In: Research in Transportation Economics, ISSN 0739-8859, E-ISSN 1875-7979Article in journal (Refereed) In press
Abstract [en]

Accessibility has conventionally been measured and evaluated ignoring user perceptions in favor of focusing on travel time and distance to a number of pre-determined destinations. Acknowledging this gap, we recently developed a scale for perceived accessibility PAC (Lättman, Friman, & Olsson 2016b) aimed at capturing the individual perspective of accessibility with a certain travel mode. In this paper, we 1) further develop the PAC measure of perceived accessibility in order to capture how easy it is to live a satisfactory life with the help of the transport system, 2) compare levels of perceived accessibility between residential areas and main travel modes, and 3) compare residents’ perceived accessibility to the objective accessibility level for the same residential area. Data from 2711 residents of Malmö, Sweden show that perceived accessibility is consistently different from objective accessibility across 13 residential areas, with minor differences in levels of perceived accessibility between areas. Surprisingly, bicycle users rate their accessibility significantly higher than those who mainly use the car or public transport for daily travel, contrary to objective accessibility assumptions. These differences point at the importance of including perceived accessibility as a complementary tool when planning for and evaluating transport systems.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Elsevier, 2018
Keywords
Perceived accessibility;Accessibility; Accessibility measure; Transport planning; Sustainable transport
National Category
Psychology
Research subject
Psychology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kau:diva-68045 (URN)10.1016/j.retrec.2018.06.002 (DOI)
Projects
MistraSAMS
Available from: 2018-06-26 Created: 2018-06-26 Last updated: 2018-10-24Bibliographically approved

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  • de-DE
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  • Other locale
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Output format
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