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Applying a motivational stage-based approach in order to study a temporary free public transport intervention
Karlstad University, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (starting 2013), Karlstad Business School (from 2013). 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). (CTF)ORCID iD: 0000-0002-7475-680X
Karlstad University, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (starting 2013), Service Research Center (from 2013). Hasselt University, Belgium.
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: 0000-0002-6570-6181
2019 (English)In: Transport Policy, ISSN 0967-070X, E-ISSN 1879-310X, Vol. 81, p. 173-183Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The present study examines temporary free public transport as an intervention for increasing public transport use, hence promoting sustainable mobility. The aims of the study are twofold: (1) to understand how psychological mechanisms relate to motivational stage-based models of behavioral change, and the role of such a model when implementing temporary free public transport, and (2) to determine the effectiveness of temporary free public transport on car-use behavior, public transport satisfaction and attitudes. A literature review of studies reporting temporary free public transport interventions was first carried out, resulting in 13 studies that yielded non-conclusive results. We then conducted an intervention and follow-up surveys of 190 participants who tested public transport for free for one month in the County of Värmland (Sweden). The results show that psychological mechanisms are crucial determinants of motivational stage-based models, whereby personal norms, attitudes and perceived behavioral control form the stage of change, and that social norms have an indirect effect through personal norms. Although an increased use of public transport was observed, only minor reduction in car use occurred. It was also found that participants moved up their motivational ladders, indicating a stronger motivation to reduce their car use post-intervention, something that may lead to a change in behavior over time. It is concluded that, although weak effects were observed on behavior in the short-term perspective, a temporary free public transport intervention may not be a waste of money, nevertheless, in a long-term perspective.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Elsevier, 2019. Vol. 81, p. 173-183
Keywords [en]
Travel behavior change, Stage-based models, Sustainable mobility, Temporary free public transport, Theory of planned behavior, Work commute
National Category
Economics and Business Psychology
Research subject
Psychology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:kau:diva-73104DOI: 10.1016/j.tranpol.2019.06.012Scopus ID: 2-s2.0-85067605047OAI: oai:DiVA.org:kau-73104DiVA, id: diva2:1331154
Funder
Swedish Energy Agency, 43210-1Available from: 2019-06-26 Created: 2019-06-26 Last updated: 2019-07-10Bibliographically approved

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Friman, MargaretaOlsson, Lars E.

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