Special Issue "Public Transport and Social Psychology"

A special issue of Social Sciences (ISSN 2076-0760).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (1 December 2018).

Special Issue Editors

Prof. Dr. Ralf Risser
Website
Guest Editor
Department of Psychology, Palacky University, Olomouc 77147, Czech Republic
Interests: transport; traffic psychology and sociology
Special Issues and Collections in MDPI journals
Dr. Matúš Šucha
Website
Guest Editor
Department of Psychology, Palacky University, Olomouc 77147, Czech Republic
Interests: traffic; psychology; mobility
Special Issues and Collections in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

"Public transport and social psychology" To achieve (more) sustainable mobility is a most important goal in times of global warming, knowing that transport in its present form contributes considerably to this climate development. In order to reach this goal, the mobility behaviour of people has to change. Societies may want to take steps in order to enhance such a change in the behaviour of their citizens. Among other things, more use of public transport instead of cars will be one goal. Steps addressed to citizens to this end will have the goal of gaining a better understanding of the motives lying behind their mobility behaviour and to find ways to convince them to change it. In this connection there is a need to make use of psychology, more specifically social and traffic psychology, among other things. What are the attitudes of the citizens towards public transport in different societies? What barriers to its use can be identified? Are there types of lifestyles that are not compatible with the use of public transport? What is the role of prejudices concerning public transport? If such prejudices can be identified, what is their origin? What can be done to convince people to change their mobility behaviour? Can marketing models be made use of with success? Papers that deal with these questions and that make use of theories and methods from the area of social and traffic psychology will be accepted for being reviewed and eventually published, given the approval of the reviewers.

Prof. Risser Ralf
Dr. Matúš Šucha
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

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Keywords

  • psychological aspects of mode choice
  • mobility habits
  • role models
  • safety culture
  • social motives
  • public transport users as a social group
  • attitudes and persuasion
  • influence of opinion leaders

Published Papers (7 papers)

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Research

Open AccessArticle
How May Public Transport Influence the Practice of Everyday Life among Younger and Older People and How May Their Practices Influence Public Transport?
Soc. Sci. 2019, 8(3), 96; https://doi.org/10.3390/socsci8030096 - 13 Mar 2019
Cited by 7
Abstract
This paper examines public transport use through the lens of practice to understand the perspectives of two categories of public transport users: Younger and older people. In taking this approach, we assume that the forms of mobility in a society are dependent on [...] Read more.
This paper examines public transport use through the lens of practice to understand the perspectives of two categories of public transport users: Younger and older people. In taking this approach, we assume that the forms of mobility in a society are dependent on citizens’ everyday practices and on the structures of the cities, landscapes, etc. Transport needs and accessibility may vary depending on contexts (i.e., where and how we live) and on the various resources of groups of citizens. Results indicated that younger people are repeatedly referred to public transport to meet their mobility needs, while older people are more often car-dependent. Local variations, among both younger and older people, indicate higher confidence in public transport in big and medium-sized cities and a greater desire for car ownership in small cities. For the transition to sustainable mobility, e.g., public transport, transport associations and local governments should be responsive to the practice of everyday life among citizens: e.g., younger people’s leisure activities in afternoons and weekends, and older people’s wish for accessible transport service outside the dominant flow of passengers and their daily commuting practice. The data come from Sweden, specifically from focus groups with teenagers aged 14–16 years and retired people aged 63–97 years. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Public Transport and Social Psychology)
Open AccessArticle
ROUTINE: The Development of a Physical Activity Promoting Journey Planner Web App
Soc. Sci. 2019, 8(3), 82; https://doi.org/10.3390/socsci8030082 - 05 Mar 2019
Abstract
Behavior change apps are widespread, but the scientific base of the app-concept is rarely disclosed. The aim of this article is to present the methodological approach used for the development of a so-called “fitness feedback demonstrator” within an already existing journey planner web [...] Read more.
Behavior change apps are widespread, but the scientific base of the app-concept is rarely disclosed. The aim of this article is to present the methodological approach used for the development of a so-called “fitness feedback demonstrator” within an already existing journey planner web app to motivate people to increase their physical activity behavior while using public transport. Firstly, we introduce the behavior change theories applied for the design of the feedback, followed by the analysis of focus-group discussions about the desired content of the fitness feedback. Secondly, we describe how we conducted a field test to measure the number of steps taken when using public transport. Finally, we used the feedback from potential users in terms of design/attractiveness and comprehensibility of the added fitness information. The “fitness feedback demonstrator” is a good practical example of how to make use of the different research expertise to develop a theory-based tool to encourage persons to integrate physical activity into their daily routines. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Public Transport and Social Psychology)
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Open AccessArticle
Intermodal Mobility Hubs and User Needs
Soc. Sci. 2019, 8(2), 65; https://doi.org/10.3390/socsci8020065 - 20 Feb 2019
Abstract
Technological innovation in the mobility and transport sphere is still strongly aimed at vehicle- or infrastructure-based systems. Actual user needs in regard to accessibility and usability of the links between different transportation modes are usually addressed by standardized planning processes. In a row [...] Read more.
Technological innovation in the mobility and transport sphere is still strongly aimed at vehicle- or infrastructure-based systems. Actual user needs in regard to accessibility and usability of the links between different transportation modes are usually addressed by standardized planning processes. In a row of four consecutive Austrian research projects, every element in the chain of intermodal routes was addressed, starting from the user-centered features of public transport stops in both urban and rural transport systems, to the planning tasks involved in providing demand-driven public transport. The current iteration focuses on establishing a typology of intermodal mobility hubs, including a differentiated view of the potential users of a multimodal transport system and their respective needs at the station. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Public Transport and Social Psychology)
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Open AccessArticle
The Importance of Public Transport for Mobility and Everyday Activities among Rural Residents
Soc. Sci. 2019, 8(2), 58; https://doi.org/10.3390/socsci8020058 - 16 Feb 2019
Cited by 8
Abstract
A lack of transport opportunities has been shown to be a barrier for accessibility and social inclusion in contemporary society. In rural and sparsely populated areas, access to public transport is often poor compared to urban areas, leading to fewer possibilities to participate [...] Read more.
A lack of transport opportunities has been shown to be a barrier for accessibility and social inclusion in contemporary society. In rural and sparsely populated areas, access to public transport is often poor compared to urban areas, leading to fewer possibilities to participate in normal relationships and activities among rural dwellers. Based on qualitative interviews with rural dwellers in Sweden, the aim of this study was to explore how access to transport can meet the needs of mobility and activity participation in everyday life and how different modes of transport are being used. The study has been permeated by the time-geographical perspective, which considers people’s use of time and space and the restrictions they face in order to carry out activities, including travel. The results show that travel by private car plays a central role in realizing everyday activities for rural dwellers, as well as a perception of the car as being the norm in contemporary society. Frequent car use is the consequence of a combination of time-space restrictions, habit, and a lack of services, activities, and public transport in rural areas. Poor public transport services limit children’s and adolescents’ independent mobility in particular. Further, the physical environment influences the ability to use public transport, for example if roads and bus stops are seen as unsafe. Based on the results of the study, several measures and improvements are proposed that could increase mobility and accessibility in rural areas and reduce car dependency. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Public Transport and Social Psychology)
Open AccessArticle
Views on Public Transport and How Personal Experiences Can Contribute to a More Positive Attitude and Behavioural Change
Soc. Sci. 2019, 8(2), 47; https://doi.org/10.3390/socsci8020047 - 05 Feb 2019
Cited by 4
Abstract
To reduce car usage, several strategies are needed, one of which focuses on social psychological factors. The aim of this study was to predict and explain bus usage using the theory of planned behaviour and the transtheoretical model of change in a sample [...] Read more.
To reduce car usage, several strategies are needed, one of which focuses on social psychological factors. The aim of this study was to predict and explain bus usage using the theory of planned behaviour and the transtheoretical model of change in a sample of 983 residents. The study also evaluated the effect of providing a group of regular car users (n = 34) with a free travel pass, to be used on busses and trains in the region. A regression analysis showed that the theory of planned behaviour (TPB) explained 26% of the variance in intention to use the bus, increasing to 59% when past behaviour was added. The use of the free travel pass resulted in a more positive attitude towards bus usage, with a large number having either changed or having started to change their behaviour. When the same people were contacted three months later, 50% still used public transport. The conclusion is that negative attitudes and travel habits can be altered by experience. Although, a reduction of car use can only be achieved if several measures are implemented that make car driving less attractive and sustainable modes of transport more attractive. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Public Transport and Social Psychology)
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Open AccessArticle
Impact of Public Transport Context Situation and Culture on Mode Choice
Soc. Sci. 2019, 8(2), 40; https://doi.org/10.3390/socsci8020040 - 28 Jan 2019
Cited by 2
Abstract
Arrival on time when reaching a trip destination is perceived differently by different communities, but the need to arrive at the desired time is essential. This study conducted a cross-cultural comparison of the waiting time reliability of public bus transport systems in three [...] Read more.
Arrival on time when reaching a trip destination is perceived differently by different communities, but the need to arrive at the desired time is essential. This study conducted a cross-cultural comparison of the waiting time reliability of public bus transport systems in three cities in three different countries: Haifa, Israel; Quito, Ecuador; and Valencia, Spain. The objective of the study was to understand and compare the importance of reliable public transport for university students attending classes in these diverse locations. A stated preference survey was conducted that considered the local fares and current travel times for each community. A logit model was designed to detect the importance of the waiting time reliability of bus timing. The values of time and value of reliability were estimated for each location, and the results were compared. The study established that reliability is, in fact, one of the important characteristics when choosing a travel mode (along with cost and travel time) across all of these diverse communities. The results showed that in all of the samples, the Value of Reliability (VOR) late was much higher than the Value of Reliability (VOR) early. Due to the differences between the transportation systems of the distinct countries, this study did not cover all possible transportation variables. An in-depth study, covering other variables, should be undertaken in the future. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Public Transport and Social Psychology)
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Open AccessArticle
How Eudaimonic Aspect of Subjective Well-Being Affect Transport Mode Choice? The Case of Thessaloniki, Greece
Soc. Sci. 2019, 8(1), 9; https://doi.org/10.3390/socsci8010009 - 07 Jan 2019
Cited by 8
Abstract
In recent years, the relationship between transportation and subjective well-being has been a major subject. Well-being is a factor that can affect travelers’ psychology and transport mode choice. For this reason, policymakers have attempted to improve travelers’ subjective well-being and promote sustainable modes [...] Read more.
In recent years, the relationship between transportation and subjective well-being has been a major subject. Well-being is a factor that can affect travelers’ psychology and transport mode choice. For this reason, policymakers have attempted to improve travelers’ subjective well-being and promote sustainable modes of transport. For a better understanding of these factors, a questionnaire-based survey was conducted to identify the travel eudaimonia aspect of subjective well-being (comfort, safety, autonomy, self-confidence, physical, and mental health), for the various means of transport in the city of Thessaloniki. During the survey, 300 valid questionnaires were completed. The collection of the above data was followed by statistical analysis. The aim of the analysis was to identify the factors of travel eudaimonia that contributed to the mode choice. For that reason, four ordinal regression models were developed to determine how travel eudaimonia affected the usage frequency of the four available means of transport in the city of Thessaloniki (i.e., private car, bicycle, public transport, walking). Walking was rated higher than other modes in all factors, whilst cycling was rated high in physical and mental health, self-confidence, and autonomy, but low in comfort and safety. Public transport scored very low in all factors, demonstrating the poor quality of service provided by the city’s public transport. Moreover, from the ordinal regression models’ results, it could be demonstrated that travel eudaimonia factors had a significant role to play in mode choice. Recognizing the impact of these factors on transport mode choice is particularly useful for policymakers, researchers, and engineers, as it helps them to make informed decisions about what improvements are needed to promote sustainable modes of transport (mainly walking, cycling, and secondarily, public transport). Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Public Transport and Social Psychology)
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