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Travel mode choice and sustainability: A psychological investigation of the use of a private car and car sharing services.

Författare Érika Martins Silva Ramos
Datum för examination 2019-12-06
Opponent at public defense Leif A. Strömwall
Förlagsort Gothenburg
Publiceringsår 2019
Publicerad vid Psykologiska institutionen
Språk en
Ämneskategorier Miljöpsykologi, Psykologi


This thesis discusses the implications of research-based decision-making to develop socially robust technologies, policies, and urban planning in the transport sector, aiming for an inclusive and more sustainable transport system. What are the travel patterns of both users and non-users of car sharing and private cars in European cities? What are the main psychological aspects of and motives for making a travel mode choice? Study I presents a classification of motives considered as relevant when selecting a mode of transport, and it examines the relative importance of driving habits, car attitudes, descriptive norms, and motives for transport mode choices for commuting, shopping trips, child-related trips, and leisure trips. A survey was sent by post to 3,000 Swedish residents in metropolitan, semi-rural, and rural areas (with a response rate of 34.6%). Through ordinal exploratory factor analysis, three classes of motives were extracted: Perceived outcomes, Symbolic, and Instrumental motives. Hierarchical proportional odds logistic regression and hierarchical linear regression models assessed the relative importance of socio-demographic variables, motives, descriptive norms, car attitudes, and driving habits for each kind of trip. These models indicated that the impact of socio-demographic and psychological variables varies across trip purposes. Commuting and child-related trips were primarily predicted by socio-demographic variables. Leisure and shopping trips were mostly predicted by driving habit. Driving habit was a common and strong predictor among all trip purposes. These results are evidence of the power of script-based trips to generate habitual travel behaviours across different trip purposes. In Study II, 1,519 users and 3,695 non-users of car sharing participated in a survey, translated into seven languages, with questions regarding attitudes towards car sharing, the environment, political orientation, personal norms, habits, frequency of use of different transport modes, and transport mode choice for different travel purposes. Through hierarchical cluster analysis, five distinct mobility styles were identified, with no a priori restriction of the number of clusters. Three mobility styles were identified among the users: a segment which uses different modes of transportation but has low environmental awareness (N = 280, 18.7%,), a segment highly dependent on private car use but that has high environmental awareness (N = 531, 35.5%), and a third segment which also has high environmental awareness and the highest percentage of car-free households (N = 685, 45.8%). Two mobility styles were identified for the non-users: a segment less positive to car sharing, with a medium level of environmental awareness and high dependence on private car use (N = 1574, 43.3%) and a segment with the lowest frequency of travel in general and the highest level of environmental awareness (N = 2058, 56.7%).The mobility styles were further characterised by sociodemographic variables and by the motives for making use of car sharing. The results from Study II show that there is a more diverse pattern of mobility styles among car sharing users, with segments that are more or less committed to reducing their environmental impact due to personal travel.

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