On user perception of private transport in Barcelona Metropolitan area: An experience in an academic suburban space

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Abstract

The negative externalities of the massive use of private transport have been widely studied and verified by the scientific community. However, the use of the automobile is still widely accepted and even vindicated among a high number of citizens. Solving this social dilemma requires analysing the reasons behind private transport use along with the perceptions of its users. This paper examines the individual motivations for using private transport to reach the Autonomous University of Barcelona (UAB); a single suburban node inside Barcelona's Metropolitan Region. We used data gathered by the Mobility Survey of the UAB to measure the use of private transport and to select a group with homogeneous characteristics for which we could perform qualitative analysis based on in-depth interviews. The analysis was focused on university staff (teaching, researchers and administrative) the university group which is using the private transport the most. Qualitative methodology identified three main stages of travel by private car upon which interviewees projected their perceptions. A strong link between car commuting and social status was revealed but unlike other studies, on this case users were compelled to use private transport because of their social standing, and not as a way to progress. Finally, time travel and convenience were also found significant but always in relation with social position. © 2014 Elsevier Ltd.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)24-31
JournalJournal of Transport Geography
Volume36
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2014

Keywords

  • Barcelona
  • Car use
  • Individual motivations
  • Travel attitudes
  • University

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