Marketing personal transport choices
A group of students visited Odense citizens, encouraging them to change their transport habits and consider alternatives to the private car.
Implementing sustainable mobility
The measure was built on the TravelSmart concept for personal transport choice marketing carried out in Australia, England and Sweden. A group of students were trained to visit citizens in Odense. Every household visited received a folder containing brochures promoting sustainable modes of transport. Some of the visited households agreed to be contacted again after three months. They were then asked the same survey questions and data were collected for evaluation.
Specific objectives were to:
- implement a programme for the direct personal marketing of environmentally friendly mobility modes among a target group of 25,000;
- increase the number of individuals and families who choose environmentally friendly traffic modes;
- remove physical and psychological barriers that limit mobility choices;
- establish a sustainable transport support Internet portal; and
- organise events and marketing activities to support the measure objectives.
Between January and April 2006, students from the university were trained and provided with relevant materials. The visits were carried out between May and October 2006, eight students visited some 5,000 households. Between May and October 2007, four students visited 2,000 households, but due to bad weather the project was postponed repeatedly. The project ended in October 2007 and data were collected for evaluation. The distributed folders provided information about alternative transport modes. The folder contained cycle path maps, links to sustainable traffic information websites and other related information. A website was set up where citizens can estimate their transport budget as well as the impacts of their travel habits on time, economy, environment and health.
Personal visits were made to a total of 7,000 households and were shown how easy it can be to make changes in daily travel habits. Between 20,000 and 25,000 citizens were contacted, or around 12 to 15 percent of the population in Odense. Many of these people would then talk to friends, family and colleagues, spreading the message even further.
A sample of 310 households, with a total of 546 people, were asked about their travel habits on the day before the visit. They were asked the same question again three months later. The results showed that car trips dropped by 9 percent, bus trips increased by 58 percent and train trips increased by 54 percent.
The transport budget portal had a total of 1,546 visitors, 64 of whom even used the budget calculator several times.