SOCIAL MEDIA AND TRANSPORT CHOICES: HOW SOCIAL MEDIA CAN AFFECT TRIPMAKERS’ CHOICES
Free (open access)
605 - 616
ANASTASIA NIKOLAIDOU, PANAGIOTIS PAPAIOANNOU
During the last years, the evolution of the World Wide Web from static websites to the Web 2.0, a platform where content and applications are continuously modified by all users, has created new online applications, known as “Social Media”, through which users interact with one another, share their experiences, opinions, knowledge, and sometimes their locations, an aspect quite useful for the transport sector. Many attempts have been made recently to implement social media analysis in the domain of transportation and extract useful information from social media. However, despite the efforts made so far, it has not been examined to a large extent what the characteristics of social media users are and how the existence of information on various topics in such platforms can affect the transport sector. In the framework of the present work, an attempt is made to investigate the likely influence of social networking services on the behavior and choices of commuters, through a questionnaire survey composed in the Greek language. This research aims to identify, at first, information on how often and in which way social media are being used and, secondly, to examine whether the existence of real-time information on traffic conditions from social networks or through interaction with other users of such networks can affect the way users travel and make their choices. The preliminary results indicate that almost 64% of the survey’s participants receive information from social media about their trip, especially when they use public transport. They also reveal that this information may alter, in a substantial percentage, their route or the period they travel. Understanding the influence of social media on the behavior and choices of commuters can be a valuable tool for mobility managers to alter the trip characteristics for various activities such as work, but mainly trips for entertainment, shopping, etc.
social media, questionnaire survey, travel behaviour, behavioural characteristics