Rising living standard of population causes increase in the number of passenger cars, which results in insufficient capacity of the road network and related environmental issues occurring in the city. One of the important steps towards improving this situation is to increase the number of PT users. To ensure sustainable development of the city, it is necessary to present the benefits of public transport effectively and promote its services sufficiently to influence the modal split in favour of public transportation.
Although figures show slight improvement in the number of PT passengers in the Usti region in 2010, there is still clear decline in the number of transported passengers compared to the year 2005: the decline in intercity buses was 22 percent, in urban public transport 12 percent and in rail transport almost 10 percent.
Usti nad Labem has a target to support the use of transport modes alternative to personal vehicles, such as public transportation. Understanding public transport users in their diverse needs, different purposes to travel to different destinations in various periods of time is necessary to reach any improvements in this particular area. Detailed analysis of the current state of public transport in Ústí nad Labem was undertaken to reveal:
- Deficits in the quality of offered services;
- Lack of served areas; and
- Limitations in covering passenger needs.
Proper functioning of public transport in the city, its promotion and improvement is a challenge for all interested state institutions. PT promotion was aimed at supporting its good image, attracting passengers and strengthening its usage. The necessary prerequisite for effective promotion campaign was cooperation of the city with a public transport operator.
The basic objectives of public transport promotion included:
- Highlighting advantages of public transport compared to individual motor transport;
- Attracting new passengers while keeping the existing ones;
- Improving provision of information about transport services;
- Increasing awareness about public transport and ITS;
- Improving accessibility of services by providing targeted information to passengers; and
- Supplying favourable services, such as time coupons and SMS tickets.