The role of the railway with regard to mode choice in medium range travel
Article publication date: 1 January 2001
This article examines Swiss people's transport means preferences in journeys over 100km. The study is based on a conditional survey research technique. When the decision criteria/ preferences are viewed from an angle that is independent of (and thus generally valid for) any choice of means of transport, the most important quality factors turn out to be safety, travelling time, punctuality, flexibility and travelling comfort. The factors “relaxation” and “(productive) use of time” are of comparatively minor importance, which can be related to the fact that travelling is seen as an end in itself. When the issue is looked at from the angle of a comparison between different means of transport, it becomes clear that there are undisputed advantages of ▪ the train over the car, particularly concerning safety with regard to accidents, relaxation and rest, a productive use of time, a minimisation of stress, and punctuality; ▪ the train over the aircraft with regard to lower overall costs, the frequency of connections, and punctuality; ▪ and the aircraft over the train with regard to travelling time. Costs only become really relevant in connection with air travel. It is interesting to note that a majority of the quality criteria which are generally considered to be the most relevant remain without any influence on the decision to choose one or the other means of transport. Indeed, there are not even any connections, overall, between people's general predispositions and their specific decisions for or against any particular means of transport in a certain situation. Only travelling time plays a central role both in the general and in the situational view.
Bieger, T. and Laesser, C. (2001), "The role of the railway with regard to mode choice in medium range travel", Tourism Review, Vol. 56 No. 1/2, pp. 33-39. https://doi.org/10.1108/eb058354
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