Summary: Human Behaviour Changes Required To Improve Traffic Congestion

traffic congestion

We recently reviewed a new report from Conduent on traffic congestion as a worldwide issue. While new technological developments, new infrastructure and expanded mobility options are aiding in this issue, the biggest factor in improving urban travel actually relies upon a completely different factor: human behaviour.

driving with the negative effects of traffic congestion

The Customer Experience of Urban Travel Report is an extensive survey of mobility trends and preferences that’s conducted by Conduent, a leading provider of public transportation and mobility. After surveying 23 cities across 15 countries, Conduent found that, even though driving is the main mode of transportation that involves frequent delays due to traffic congestion:

  • Respondents around the globe chose ‘driving their own car’ over other modes of transport for reasons including: comfort (54%), ease of access (47%) and reliability (39%)
  • Respondents experiencing delays at least one day a week shared that delays cause them to miss out on time with their family and friends (61%) or arrive late for work (51%)

The emotion of Traffic Congestion Delays

Traffic congestion inevitably causes delays that can poorly impact one’s emotional state, as well as physical aspects of their lives such as business meetings or enjoyment of being with friends and family. Stress and frustration are both common emotions caused by delays on the road: 40% of respondents reported negative emotions of stressed or frustrated to describe their feelings about travel in their city 

However, despite this common negative experience with traffic delays, the respondents are still choosing to drive. Why? Because transportation decisions are influenced heavily by habits, convenience and personal preferences. This is where the habits of human behaviour require change.

The switch to multimodal transport systems

Respondents rated reliability of services and information as highly important for future travel. In addition, 70% of respondents said they would be encouraged to ride public transit more frequently if the journey time was faster. This means that persuading drivers to use a multimodal transport system requires more speed and reliability of services, education and information.

“Transportation is an inherently personal decision. People primarily focus on their individual situation, factoring in speed, comfort and cost when determining how they’d like to travel,” said Don Hubicki, executive vice president of public sector transportation at Conduent.

“Providing more choices in line with our personal situations is key to changing behavior. People’s preferred travel choices aren’t always best for their communities. It’s time to think beyond transportation silos and present alternative options to create a better, more seamless travel experience. Despite an over-reliance on cars, our survey shows more than half of respondents find the proposition of a multimodal experience appealing.”

Read the full report overview from Conduent here. Are you interested in learning more about human behaviour driving change in mobility and traffic congestion? Contact us.

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