Passenger confidence in public transport post-COVID is in decline, with journeys expected to be replaced by the car, suggests a survey undertaken by transport and research consultancy SYSTRA.
Some 39% of respondents said they would use public transport less once all restrictions are lifted and 65% of those predicting a switch to car.
The current advice to avoid public transport could have far-reaching implications on the way we travel long after the COVID-19 lockdown ends, says consultant SYSTRA, which carried out the survey.
This means that carbon emissions could increase as people avoid public transport due to ongoing safety concerns and permanently switch to car usage instead, predicts SYSTRA.
These results are from a representative survey of 1,500 adult UK residents undertaken 4-12 June 2020.
Key findings include:
When appropriate, public transport operators and government will need to reassure passengers that public transport is a safe and environmentally friendly way of travelling, says SYSTRA.
Katie Hall, SYSTRA’s Director of Transport Planning, said: “The scale of the challenge facing government and public transport operators should not be underestimated. Action must be taken now to prevent a potentially devastating impact on climate change should this switch from public transport to car happen. We must understand what people need to restore their confidence in public transport to get us on the path to net zero emissions.”
Evelyn Robertson, Research Lead, says: “Passenger intentions to stop using public transport even when safe to travel does not mean this future is set in stone. These findings highlight the importance of engaging with passengers to recognise the influences on their attitudes and behaviour – only then can we understand how to best inspire environmentally-friendly, convenient and safe transport choices.”
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