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Mobility Measure

Increasing the number of public transport passengers

The provision of better passenger information was seen as a way to boost passenger numbers on all types of public transport.

Implementing sustainable mobility

As part of Stockholm’s efforts to reduce energy consumption, cut emissions and achieve a modal shift away from the private car towards more sustainable transport modes, Stockholm Transport aimed to increase passenger numbers by 100,000 per day by 2005, a rise of 15 percent.

To reach this goal, several activities were carried out as part of CIVITAS TRENDSETTER:

  • providing traffic disruption information;
  • offering travel guarantees;
  • offering incentives to contractors;
  • carrying out quality and quantity surveys; and
  • direct marketing.

How did the measure progress?

Traffic Disturbance InformationOn the basis of surveys carried out in 2002 among passengers, a package of measures were implemented in six traffic areas in the county of Stockholm. These included the installation of electronic signs showing real-time information at bus stops and train and underground stations. Transport personnel were trained in how and when to communicate information on disruptions.

Travel GuaranteesDuring 2002, Stockholm Transport launched a project to guarantee passengers travel within the county without undue delays. This was based on the promise that, in the event of delays of 20 minutes or more, the transport operator would compensate the cost of a taxi trip. All transport modes were incorporated into the guarantee. The travel guarantee became part of the Stockholm Transport’s ordinary operations and is subject to continuing review and development.

Incentives for contractorsOn the basis of passenger surveys, during 2002 Stockholm Transport created incentives connected to punctuality, cleanliness, revenue, and customer satisfaction. The incentives were intended to encourage contractors to improve the quality of their services and attract high numbers of passengers. Contractors receive a bonus if they attain a certain level of improvement and are subject to penalties for non-compliance. Assessment is undertaken by so-called mystery shoppers (anonymous inspectors acting like passengers). The incentives became part of Stockholm Transport’s continuing development.

Quality and quantity surveysQuality surveys provide an indication of passengers’ level of satisfaction with public transport services. Requests to improve the service must be comprehensively discussed and analysed. Surveys are carried out twice a year on board public transport vehicles. At least 400 interviews are made per contractor area and all passengers over the age of 15 are targeted. Based on the number of satisfied passengers, the contractors can identify areas for improvement.

Direct MarketingDuring 2003, Stockholm Transprt aimed to identify a direct marketing technique to target various selected groups. The idea was to offer passengers modes of transport of which they were previously unaware. The target groups were new residents in selected areas and large companies.

People moving into a new area were presented with transport information brochure, with contact information for Stockholm Transport’s customer services department, as well as a “try-out” ticket. During 2004, a total of 2,400 new residents of 13 selected areas received the package. The campaign was very successful and is now part of Stockholm Transport’s ordinary operations.

Companies were also contacted and offered a variety of services, such as non-personal tickets that can be kept at the reception desk and handed out whenever someone needs to make a trip. This would reduce the cost of hiring a taxi or running a company car. Stockholm Transport also offered a four-month season ticket, the cost of which can be deducted from an employee’s salary on a monthly basis rather than in one lump sum.

What were the outcomes of the measure?

The target to increase passenger numbers from the 1998 level of 640,000 per day to 740,000 per day by 2005 was not achieved. Rather than an increase of 100,000, an increase of 72, 000 was achieved. The discrepancy can be explained by the fact that population growth in the county was lower than expected; that unemployment rates were high; that ticket prices rose; and that the implementation of both congestion charging and smart cards was delayed. During the project period, the number of cyclists also rose, which affected passenger numbers.