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The Quality Of Public Transport As A Determinant Of The Number Of Car Commuters


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K. Karu, T. Rõivas, D. Antov, T. Oja & Ü. Mander


This paper examines residents’ attitudes towards the quality of existing public transport, based on travel mode usage for job-based journeys. The hypothesis tested was that one of the important factors for car usage is a lower evaluation of the quality of public transport services by car users compared to users of alternative means of transport. The case study is based on data gathered from a survey performed in the city of Pärnu, Estonia. The Chi Square test (α= 0.05) was used to determine socio-demographic differences between different mode user groups. Mean values of nondiscrete parameters were compared using the t-test. We grouped the statements about public transport quality based on the results of factor analysis and checked them against differences between different groups using the correlation analysis. Quality aspects considered for public transport quality evaluation were: public transport reliability, security, frequency, times of operation, schedule and routes, public transport cost as well as the preference of car usage or walking. The results of the analysis show that overall satisfaction with the quality of the public transport service was high or very high. The opinion of the car user group correlated highly only with preference of car usage. Thus the hypothesis was confirmed partly as car users prefer this mode of transport because of its higher comfort, and they also value the greater independence that a private car can give. The results confirmed the findings of many previous studies investigating the reasons for car usage, although some studies have also pointed out critical attitudes towards the reliability and connection speed of public transport. Keywords: mode choice, travel behaviour, public transport quality, transport planning.


mode choice, travel behaviour, public transport quality, transport planning.