Transport User Voice – May 2021 – Return to travel

28 April 2021

Attitudes, reassurance and incentives

What will help people return to transport and who will need the most reassurance or incentives to consider using public transport again?

To help governments and industry understand people’s attitudes to travel Transport Focus has published new segmentation analysis. This provides deeper insight into how people are feeling about public transport now and about returning in the future.

For almost a year Transport Focus has been talking to people about their views and concerns about travel. Our Travel During Covid-19 survey has tracked behaviours, journey satisfaction and attitudes. Now, as restrictions begin to ease, we are digging deeper. This new analysis breaks the population down into five groups according to key behaviours and attitudes.

Our five segments are:

  1. Cautious car choosers – more likely to have owned and used a car before Covid-19 which, along with strong concerns about Covid-19, means they are unlikely to consider using public transport.

    Almost half in this segment say public transport is not for ‘people like me’.

  1. Anxious and affected – anxious about Covid-19. More likely to be reliant on public transport and not feel enough is being done to ensure safety.

    Only one in 10 in this segment agree enough is being done to ensure coronavirus safety on public transport.

  2. Rethinking reducers – more likely to have used public transport regularly before Covid-19 but they are rethinking and expect to use public transport less in future.

    Two in three in this segment say coronavirus has made them rethink how they will use transport in the future.

  3. Spring-back socialisers – more likely to return to public transport as they are keen to get back to their normal activities as soon as they can.

    Seven in 10 in this segment say that, when restrictions are lifted, they expect to use public transport as much as before.

  4. Carefree and carrying on – more likely to have used public transport recently and the least anxious about Covid-19.

    Only around one in 10 in this segment are anxious about using trains or buses.

We hope this will be useful to industry to help build a picture of the future market for public transport. It shows the sort of people that may return first as well as those who will need the most reassurance or incentives to consider public transport again.

Transport Focus will apply this segmentation analysis to our weekly ongoing weekly survey. We will use it to show how different segments respond to concepts, messaging, incentives, triggers and initiatives as restrictions ease and rules change in the coming weeks and months.


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