Paper presented at the 32nd Annual Southern African Transport Conference 8-11 July 2013 "Transport and Sustainable Infrastructure", CSIR International Convention Centre, Pretoria, South Africa.
The qualitative investigation into factors facilitating modal shift formed part of a larger research study that was conducted by the CSIR for the National Department of Transport.
The aim of the study was to understand the factors that are most likely to influence modal
shift in South Africa. Within the context of this study it was intended to achieve two purposes: a) to understand how to move commuters in South Africa from private transport to public transport and b) providing conditions whereby optimal use can be made of existing and current public transport available in the country. Modal shift is the result of a personal choice. This study investigated current factors influencing choice of mode as well as factors influencing the choice to shift from one mode to another utilising focus groups as a qualitative data collection method. The study was conducted in all nine provinces and public participation from high, medium and low income participants from rural, urban and metropolitan areas were sought. Findings from this research indicated that there is a large
void between what is “available” to people and what people “prefer” as their ideal mode of
transport. Modal choice was found to be associated with a community/income group “perceived freedom” to make choices. This was strongly associated with the level of
income as well as physical access and affordability of specific modes of transport.
Furthermore the findings from the study indicate that there are significant differences in how people from different provinces and income groups view and choose specific modes of transport based on personal, social and environmental factors. This paper provides an overview of the findings pertaining to these relationships and correlations between the different factors found to influence modal choice.
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