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Flexible Public Transport - Analysis of User Requirements on Mobility-on-Demand Systems

König, Alexandra (2022) Flexible Public Transport - Analysis of User Requirements on Mobility-on-Demand Systems. DLR-Forschungsbericht. DLR-FB-2022-3. Dissertation. Technische Universität Braunschweig. 159 S. doi: 10.57676/q4zv-ff53.

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Contemporary society faces the challenge of mitigating the negative effects of motorized individual transport, which includes greenhouse gas emissions, noise, accidents and traffic congestion. App-based mobility-on-demand systems (MODS) promise a transformation towards a more sustainable mobility by offering a flexible public transport as an alternative to private motorized transport. As new MODS flourish and spread quickly, it is important to understand how they affect individual travel patterns and transportation systems. The service concept of MODS is to a large extent very different from conventional scheduled transport. As an example, the adaptability of routes, times and sudden divergence from planned routes, to pick-up and drop-off passengers, are characteristics inherent of MODS that are in contrast to the service quality aspect of reliability of conventional public transport. Scientific literature gives insufficient information on the issue of how users perceive and assess these new services. From a scientific perspective, the novelty of MODS requires the adaption of established behavioural models and theories to study the flexibility of the system. The aim of this dissertation is to contribute to the understanding of the users’ requirements, as well as drivers and barriers for using MODS. This dissertation aims to fill the research gap that opens up with regard to users’ perception and assessment of MODS, especially their flexible service concept. This dissertation thereby aims to contribute to the development of theories based on empirical studies. This dissertation comprises four empirical studies to investigate the factors that affect the perception and assessment of MODS. In Study 1, a choice modelling approach based on a discrete choice experiment was used to identify which service characteristics affect travellers’ appraisal of MODS. Study 2 builds upon Study 1 by using the results of the preference modelling for imparting the service concept of MODS and the service characteristics to the users. For this purpose, the serious game B.u.S. was developed and used to improve players’ knowledge, attitude and willingness to use MODS. The effectiveness of the serious game to impart knowledge about the service concept of MODS and to raise awareness about the usefulness of the service was assessed in an evaluation study. Study 3 focused on the impact of a specific service characteristic, the ridesharing concept on travellers’ willingness to use MODS. The purpose of Study 3 was to examine the effects of a flexible travel time and a variable detour factor as the specific service characteristics of MODS on the willingness to share rides in autonomous MODS. Study 4 complemented the findings of Study 3 by a sociopsychological perspective on the ridesharing concept in autonomous MODS. In more detail, Study 4 investigated the effects of information provision about fellow travellers’ characteristics, such as name or gender, on individuals’ compensation demands for sharing rides. Altogether, the four independent, yet closely related studies of the dissertation shed light on the user’s perception of MODS by using and developing theories and models of behavioural science based on flexible MODS. The results of each of the four studies will be analysed jointly to understand the potential user requirements on MODS and thereby expand the state of research. Looking at the results of each study separately, Study 1 revealed the importance of the six service attributes of travelling time, walking distance, information provision, time of booking, shift of departure time, and fare on the respondents’ appraisal of the service concept. The calculation of the willingness to pay gave an indication of the respondents’ wish for an improvement in the quality of the service offered, for example a shorter walking distance to the pick-up point. The evaluation study of the serious game in Study 2 found clear indications of beneficial effects of the serious game on individuals’ conceptual comprehension and understanding of MODS. Study 3 verified and expanded the findings of Study 1 by showing that the willingness to share rides in autonomous MODS depends on specific characteristics of each trip (travel time and detour factor) as well as personal characteristics (age, gender and income). Study 4 supplemented the findings of Study 3 by revealing a beneficial effect of detailed information about fellow travellers on traveller’s willingness to share rides in autonomous MODS. Accordingly, full profile information involving a picture, the name and a rating of the fellow traveller was found to reduce the compensation demands for sharing rides. The overall goal of this dissertation is to start filling the gap in the academic literature concerning the perception and appraisal of MODS and users’ willingness to adopt them and thereby to complement behavioural theories. Based on the findings of the four studies, a research model to approach individual’s assessment of the flexibility of public transport systems is derived. This model adds to existing models such as the Theory of Planned Behaviour (Ajzen, 1991) and the Technology Acceptance Model (Davis, 1985) to include understanding of the flexibility dimension of MODS. Based on the findings of the four studies, implications for the user-centred research on flexible mobility are derived in the form of hypotheses that can guide further research.

Item URL in elib:https://elib.dlr.de/185650/
Document Type:Monograph (DLR-Forschungsbericht, Dissertation)
Title:Flexible Public Transport - Analysis of User Requirements on Mobility-on-Demand Systems
AuthorsInstitution or Email of AuthorsAuthor's ORCID iDORCID Put Code
König, AlexandraUNSPECIFIEDhttps://orcid.org/0000-0001-6332-3817UNSPECIFIED
Refereed publication:Yes
Open Access:Yes
Number of Pages:159
EditorsEmailEditor's ORCID iDORCID Put Code
UNSPECIFIEDDeutsches Zentrum für Luft- und RaumfahrtUNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Series Name:Forschungsbericht
Keywords:Mobility-on-demand, DRT, demand-responsive transport, technology acceptance, discrete choice, Serious Game
Institution:Technische Universität Braunschweig
Department:Institut für Psychologie
HGF - Research field:Aeronautics, Space and Transport
HGF - Program:Transport
HGF - Program Themes:Transport System
DLR - Research area:Transport
DLR - Program:V VS - Verkehrssystem
DLR - Research theme (Project):V - Movement (old)
Location: Braunschweig
Institutes and Institutions:Institute of Transportation Systems > Design and Evaluation of Mobility Solutions, BS
Deposited By: König, Alexandra
Deposited On:20 Apr 2022 12:21
Last Modified:01 Aug 2022 16:11

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