In order to evaluate the effectiveness of the ‘free public transport trial day’ in the county of Fürstenfeldbruck (Germany), it was decided to carry out an on-board survey on six different bus lines in the county.
As part of this on-board survey, a total of 1221 passengers were interviewed. Out of these, 234 were using the free trial day tickets. As we, the Public Transport and Tariff Association of the Munich region, wanted to focus on the mobility behavior of the people who were using the free trial day ticket, only their responses were recorded and further analyzed. The following statements relate, therefore, only to the responses of the passengers using free trial day tickets.
It was found that most of the people used this free offer during the afternoon hours rather than in the evening. On this free trial day, roughly 11% more passengers were recorded on these bus lines as compared to their normal occupancy.
The most popular reasons for using the free trial day ticket were for ‘leisure activities’ and ‘routine chores’.
The passengers were also asked about their normal mobility behavior. They were asked how often they used public transport (PT) and how often they drove private cars. 50% of the free trial day users were regular PT users (3-4 times a week or more), whereas 20% rarely used PT (1-3 times a month or less). From the interviewed passengers, 20% were regular car users (3-4 times a week or more) and almost 70% never or rarely used private cars (1-3 times a month or less).
Almost 2/3rd of the total free trial users admitted that they will use the regional bus services more often after the free trial day. However, the most crucial groups, whose behavior needs to be influenced, are the people who rarely use PT and the ones who regularly use private cars. These groups also reacted positively to the question of if they would use the regional bus more often in the future after having tried it during the free trial day. In total, about 60 – 65% of the passengers who rarely use public transport said they would use it more often in the future. Furthermore, about 60-70% of passengers who use private cars very often said they would also use the public transport services more often in the future.
Overall, these results paint a positive picture for the efforts taken by the county of Fürstenfeldbruck. They will use the detailed results and analysis to garner more political support for their actions and for the further promoting improvements in the public transport sector in their county.