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Overall Accessibility of Public Transport for Older Adults
Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology, Perception and psychophysics.
2016 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

This thesis is based on four studies that explore accessibility for older adults during whole trips by public transport. The overall goal was to gain knowledge of the interrelationships among key variables and to develop a conceptual model of the overall accessibility of public transport. More specifically, the research goals were: (a) to explore links among the key variables postulated to be involved in overall accessibility and to explore the links between these variables and railway accessibility; (b) to gain a deeper understanding of links between critical incidents in traveling and travel behavior decisions; and (c) to develop a conceptual model of overall accessibility. The key variables contributing to overall accessibility are functional ability (depending partly on the person’s functional limitation or disease), travel behavior, and barriers encountered during whole-trip traveling involving train. Respondents with more than one functional limitation or disease reported lower functional ability than did those with only one such limitation and respondents with low functional ability were less frequent travelers than were those with high functional ability. Frequent travelers reported railway accessibility to be better than did those who traveled less frequently. The main barriers were ticket cost and poor punctuality, but respondents with the lowest functional ability attributed the barriers encountered to their own health. The critical incidents most frequently reported were found in the categories “physical environment onboard vehicles” and “physical environment at stations or stops”, as well as in the “pricing and planning during ticketing” phase of the trip. Five themes of reactions to critical incidents were identified that had resulted in behavior change: firm restrictions, unpredictability, unfair treatment, complicated trips, and earlier adverse experiences. A conceptual model of overall accessibility was developed, grounded in the empirical research results. This model is summarized in the following propositions: Overall accessibility is a reciprocal relationship among the barriers/facilitators encountered, functional ability, and travel behavior. Accessibility emerges in the person–environment interaction. To understand accessibility, past experiences and future expectations should both be considered, because both will guide travel decisions.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: Department of Psychology, Stockholm University , 2016.
Keyword [en]
older persons, critical incidents, critical reactions, travel behavior, accessibility, functional limitation, functional ability, barrier, facilitator, public transport, railway travel
National Category
Psychology
Research subject
Psychology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-126301ISBN: 978-91-7649-327-4 (print)OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-126301DiVA: diva2:898881
Public defence
2016-03-11, David Magnussonsalen (U31), Frescati Hagväg 8, Stockholm, 10:00 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Projects
Measurements enable future train travelling for everybody
Funder
Swedish Transport Administration, F09-11460/AL50Swedish Research Council Formas
Available from: 2016-02-17 Created: 2016-01-29 Last updated: 2017-02-24Bibliographically approved
List of papers
1. Travel Behavior Change in Older Travelers: Understanding Critical Reactions to Incidents Encountered in Public Transport
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Travel Behavior Change in Older Travelers: Understanding Critical Reactions to Incidents Encountered in Public Transport
2015 (English)In: International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, ISSN 1661-7827, E-ISSN 1660-4601, Vol. 12, no 11, 14741-14763 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Accessibility of travel may be better understood if psychological factors underlying change in travel behavior are known. This paper examines older (65+) travelers' motives for changing their travel behavior. These changes are grounded in critical incidents earlier encountered in public-transport travel. A scientific framework is developed based on cognitive and behavioral theory. In 29 individual interviews, travelers' critical reactions (i.e., cognitive, emotional, and/or behavioral) to 77 critical incidents were examined. By applying critical incident technique (CIT), five reaction themes were identified that had generated travel-behavior change: firm restrictions, unpredictability, unfair treatment, complicated trips, and earlier adverse experiences. To improve older travelers' access to public transport, key findings were: (a) service must be designed so as to strengthen the feeling of being in control throughout the journey; (b) extended personal service would increase predictability in the travel chain and decrease travel complexity; consequently, (c) when designing new services and making effective accessibility interventions, policy makers should consider and utilize underlying psychological factors that could direct traveler behavior.

Keyword
older persons, critical incidents, critical reactions, travel behavior change
National Category
Psychology
Research subject
Psychology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:su:diva-124773 (URN)10.3390/ijerph121114741 (DOI)000365645500073 ()26593935 (PubMedID)
Available from: 2016-01-05 Created: 2016-01-04 Last updated: 2017-12-01Bibliographically approved
2. Overall Accessibility to Traveling by Rail for the Elderly with and without Functional Limitations: The Whole-Trip Perspective
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Overall Accessibility to Traveling by Rail for the Elderly with and without Functional Limitations: The Whole-Trip Perspective
Show others...
2014 (English)In: International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, ISSN 1661-7827, E-ISSN 1660-4601, Vol. 11, no 12, 12938-12968 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Elderly persons’ perceived accessibility to railway traveling depends on their functional limitations/diseases, their functional abilities and their travel behaviors in interaction with the barriers encountered during whole trips. A survey was conducted on a random sample of 1000 city residents (65–85 years old; 57% response rate). The travels were perceived least accessible by respondents with severely reduced functional ability and by those with more than one functional limitation/disease (e.g., restricted mobility and chronic pain). Those who traveled “often”, perceived the accessibility to be better than those who traveled less frequently. For travelers with high functional ability, the main barriers to more frequent traveling were travel costs and low punctuality. For those with low functional ability, one’s own health was reported to be the main barrier. Our results clarify the links among existing functional limitations/functional abilities, the barriers encountered, the travel behavior, and the overall accessibility to traveling. By operationalizing the whole-trip concept as a chain of events, we deliver practical knowledge on vulnerable groups for decision-making to improve the transport environment for all.

Keyword
accessibility, travel behavior, functional limitation, barrier, railway travel, older persons
National Category
Psychology
Research subject
Psychology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:su:diva-110560 (URN)10.3390/ijerph111212938 (DOI)000346797100054 ()
Available from: 2014-12-16 Created: 2014-12-16 Last updated: 2017-12-05Bibliographically approved
3. Two models of accessibility to railway traveling for vulnerable, elderly persons
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Two models of accessibility to railway traveling for vulnerable, elderly persons
Show others...
2015 (English)In: Measurement, ISSN 0263-2241, E-ISSN 1873-412X, Vol. 72, 96-101 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Public transport mobility is restricted for the vulnerable travelers, e.g., those with functional limitations. By removing barriers, a more flexible and independent travel behavior is accomplished. For whole-trip traveling, we model accessibility as a three-way reciprocal relationship among travelers' functional ability, barriers met and resulting travel behaviors. For every journey and destination, an accessibility measure is constructed from all barriers' weights and the probabilities of encountering each of them in traveling to specific destinations. The accessibility to whole-trip traveling is then modeled by travelers' individual weightings of sets of barriers and the probabilities of encountering them. By using specific reference values, as in master scaling, we estimate the measurement error for each participant's perceived effort to overcome a certain barrier, and thus obtain a calibrated measure of accessibility. We conclude that customized abatement procedures must accomplish better accessibility for all, especially for the vulnerable travelers.

Keyword
Accessibility, Functional ability, Barrier, Travel behavior, The elderly
National Category
Psychology Transport Systems and Logistics
Research subject
Psychology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:su:diva-119119 (URN)10.1016/j.measurement.2015.02.053 (DOI)000356233200012 ()
Available from: 2015-07-31 Created: 2015-07-29 Last updated: 2017-12-04Bibliographically approved
4. Travel behaviour change in old age: the role of critical incidents in public transport
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Travel behaviour change in old age: the role of critical incidents in public transport
Show others...
2016 (English)In: European Journal of Ageing, ISSN 1613-9372, E-ISSN 1613-9380, Vol. 13, no 1, 75-83 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Older people’s travel behaviour is affected by negative or positive critical incidents in the public transport environment. With the objective of identifying such inci- dents during whole trips and examining how travel beha- viour had changed, we have conducted in-depth interviews with 30 participants aged 65–91 years in the County of Stockholm, Sweden. Out of 469 incidents identified, 77 were reported to have resulted in travel behaviour change, 67 of them in a negative way. Most critical incidents were encountered in the physical environment on-board vehicles and at stations/stops as well as in pricing/ticketing. The findings show that more personal assistance, better driving behaviour, and swift maintenance of elevators and escala- tors are key facilitators that would improve predictability in travelling and enhance vulnerable older travellers’ feeling of security. The results demonstrate the benefit of involving different groups of end users in future planning and design, such that transport systems would meet the various needs of its end users.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Springer Netherlands, 2016
Keyword
older people, travel behaviour, public transport, critical incidents, qualitative research
National Category
Psychology
Research subject
Psychology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:su:diva-126292 (URN)10.1007/s10433-015-0358-8 (DOI)
Projects
Measurements enable future train travelling for everybody
Funder
Swedish Transport Administration, F09-11460/AL50Swedish Research Council Formas
Available from: 2016-01-29 Created: 2016-01-29 Last updated: 2017-11-30Bibliographically approved

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