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Why do young adults choose different transport modes? A focus group study

Author

Listed:
  • Simons, Dorien
  • Clarys, Peter
  • De Bourdeaudhuij, Ilse
  • de Geus, Bas
  • Vandelanotte, Corneel
  • Deforche, Benedicte

Abstract

Active transport might be well suited to counteract the decrease in physical activity and the increase in weight gain in students and working young adults (18–25 years). To promote active transport in this neglected age group, knowledge of factors influencing all transport modes is needed. Focus groups were used to explore factors influencing transport choice of studying and working young adults, for short distance travel to various destinations. Nineteen students (mean age of 21±1.1 years) and 17 working young adults (mean age of 23±1.5 years) were recruited. Three focus groups were conducted with students and three with working young adults. Content analysis was performed using NVivo 9 software (QSR International). Grounded theory was used to derive categories and subcategories. Young adults talked about several factors that influence transport choice, which could be categorized in three themes: Personal factors, social factors and physical environmental factors. Some factors were reported as very important for choosing between transport modes, such as autonomy, travel time, financial cost and vehicle ownership; some as less important, such as the built environment and perceived safety and some as not important at all, such as ecology and health. Most factors were discussed by both students and working young adults, but some differences were found between the two groups, mainly based on income and living situation. When promoting active transport in young adults, health benefits or ecological benefits should not be emphasized. Focus should be put on cycling instead of walking, on flexibility, speed, good social support and low costs. Also, more bicycle storage and workplace facilities should be provided. It should be avoided that young adults own a private car and the public transport system should be optimized to fit their needs.

Suggested Citation

  • Simons, Dorien & Clarys, Peter & De Bourdeaudhuij, Ilse & de Geus, Bas & Vandelanotte, Corneel & Deforche, Benedicte, 2014. "Why do young adults choose different transport modes? A focus group study," Transport Policy, Elsevier, vol. 36(C), pages 151-159.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:trapol:v:36:y:2014:i:c:p:151-159
    DOI: 10.1016/j.tranpol.2014.08.009
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. repec:eee:trapol:v:63:y:2018:i:c:p:1-9 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. Hagen, Jonas Xaver & Pardo, CarlosFelipe & Valente, Johanna Burbano, 2016. "Motivations for motorcycle use for Urban travel in Latin America: A qualitative study," Transport Policy, Elsevier, vol. 49(C), pages 93-104.
    3. Aldred, Rachel & Woodcock, James, 2015. "Reframing safety: An analysis of perceptions of cycle safety clothing," Transport Policy, Elsevier, vol. 42(C), pages 103-112.
    4. repec:eee:transa:v:103:y:2017:i:c:p:172-184 is not listed on IDEAS
    5. Cass, Noel & Faulconbridge, James, 2016. "Commuting practices: New insights into modal shift from theories of social practice," Transport Policy, Elsevier, vol. 45(C), pages 1-14.
    6. Hopkins, Debbie, 2016. "Can environmental awareness explain declining preference for car-based mobility amongst generation Y? A qualitative examination of learn to drive behaviours," Transportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice, Elsevier, vol. 94(C), pages 149-163.

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