Target group-specific, behavioral measures to promote the use of public transport in Switzerland

In order to increase the share of public transport in the modal split, it is necessary to strengthen the railroads in the long term. In addition to the expansion of the infrastructure, however, targeted accompanying measures that can trigger new mobility habits are also helpful.

But which target groups and motives should be addressed by such accompanying measures?

In a study that we were able to conduct together with Verhaltensarchitektur GmbH on behalf of the Federal Office of Transport, we investigated this question.

In the study, we focused on the target group "family with child(ren) and car(s)", who often travel by car despite very good public transport connections.

Based on interviews with fathers and mothers of families, we arrived at the following 7 findings regarding the target group:

  1. Foregoing the car is illusory. Day trips as positive first public transport experiences are conceivable.
  2. The practicability is central, the short-term costs (e.g. for parking or the ticket) are also decisive.
  3. Even car drivers take public transport for their children from time to time.
  4. The motives "environmental protection" and "protection of future generations" are negligible, freedom and convenience are valued higher.
  5. Acquiring a driver's license is (still) part of growing up.
  6. The promotion of off-peak hours must be initiated by employers.
  7. The train is very popular, but bus and tramway rather less - the way to the train is therefore a big hurdle.

Based on these 7 findings, various accompanying measures can be derived. Promoting the use of public transport by and with children seems to be particularly promising. Children are often enthusiastic about traveling by public transport - especially by train. If this enthusiasm is targeted, a mobility habit in favor of public transport can be built up, which will hopefully remain in adulthood.

All further findings and ideas for accompanying measures from our study can be found in the final report (in German).