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Mobility Measure

Public Transport Promotion Campaign

The measure consisted of two tasks: Understanding public transport users and a campaign to promote public transport.

Implementing sustainable mobility

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.

How did the measure progress?

The research study monitored public transport services in Usti nad Labem, including its historical development, functions of the system, the tariff and dispatch system and customer satisfaction.

During the surveys, the transport demand was mapped out for all lines based on transfers of passengers on all stations and the number of passengers on-board on sections in-between (during both peak and off-peak periods). The survey of directional relationships and transfer links was realised by questioning passengers waiting on public transport stations or travelling on less frequented routes (directly in a vehicle).

Usti nad Labem implemented a public campaign promoting public transport in the city, based on results of the survey. Prior to campaign implementation, experience from successful PT promotion campaigns realised in the Czech Republic and in other European cities was processed to serve as a basis for a local campaign.

The promotion campaign had the following core themes:

  • Highlighting advantages of public transport in comparison with individual automobile transport;
  • Building reputation of public transport; and
  • Raising awareness of passengers.

Requirements of individual target groups were surveyed and addressed in the campaign. Important information, promotional and education materials, which have been missing in the city so far, have been produced and distributed within the campaign. Further distribution of these materials was transmitted to the PT Company of Ústí nad Labem, which will continue in the initiated activities. Provision of information in an understandable and attractive form should improve accessibility of PT services both for existing or potential users.

Within the campaign, several public events were organised to promote local public transport (PT) services to residents. During these events, people were able to compare PT services provided in the past and in the present. They participated in knowledge and effort competitions for prizes, discussions and workshops about PT services. Information materials were distributed during these events and they are available at other public areas and through the PT Company of Usti nad Labem. Two PT vehicles were equipped with free internet connection for passengers and decorated by thematic pictures in order to attract attention and welcome customers. Campaign activities were promoted in local media. These outputs are together aimed at increasing awareness about local PT services and enabling their easier accessibility.

Particular attention of the promotion campaign was laid on education of children to utilise PT in the city. This training will be further carried on for all primary school children in the city by the Municipal Police on their traffic court.

The campaign was designed in various forms to reach as many people in the city as possible. Ústí nad Labem organised promotional activities to raise usage of PT and increase awareness of PT services through public events, workshops, competitions, exhibitions, training activities and promotion in local media.

What were the outcomes of the measure?

Currently, traffic performance of the city public transport is 13,5 times lower than traffic performance realised in the city by personal vehicles. Usage of the city public transport in Ústí nad Labem is relatively high compared to similar cities in the Czech Republic, although improvements of services are still needed.

The goal of the study was to map usage of public transportation in the city and to determine public opinion of PT users on its services. It was based on a thorough analyses elaborated for the city in 2009 and on questioners distributed to wide public promoted by a campaign.

In total, Ústí nad Labem Public Transport Company in the city operates 16 bus lines, 11 trolleybus lines, 2 night bus lines, 2 cycle-buses and 2 ski-buses. The network consists of 251 stations. On average, 144 649 passengers are transported by the city public transport on a working day, 68 385 on Saturday and 51 860 on Sunday. It was revealed, that several connections operated overloaded while other PT lines were underutilised.

Recently, majority of PT connections have been optimised. The operating times were adjusted to correspond with beginning and end times of schools, opening hours of offices, businesses and services in the city, arrivals and departures of trains and working hours in factories. Intervals of individual connections were set to better correspond with each other. Some lines were cancelled or replaced. Selected lines were guaranteed to operate by low-floor trolleybuses to enable transportation of disabled passengers.

Survey of customer satisfaction revealed, that majority of respondents require improvements of the existing services rather than establishing new ones. They favour purchase of new and modern low-floor buses and trolleybuses, better maintenance of vehicles and stations and improved delivery of information. Residents also prefer calming the city centre, excluding the traffic and establishing pedestrian zones (92%). In general, residents are satisfied with public transportation but demand improvements in quality of services equal to the price of the ticket.

Based on results of the customer survey, the promotion campaign was held aimed at providing information to passengers (both existing and potential) in a comprehensible and attractive form. It was grounded on the fact that passengers perceive public transportation in a complex way, considering comfort of transport, convenience of timetables, quality of provided information and services, etc.

Requirements of individual target groups were surveyed and addressed in the campaign. City residents welcomed the effort to make city public transportation more attractive, whether by providing basic improvements (information brochures and other sources of comprehensive data about PT services) or extra services (free Wi-Fi connection in vehicles or competitions for PT users).

The campaign involved relatively many participants, which was considered as a success. Data from participants were utilised for measure evaluation (indicators of acceptance and awareness level) and will be further exploited for future activities of the city and the PT Company. Ústí nad Labem plans to organise similar events in the future, based on experience and best practise from CIVITAS campaigns.