Go Ahead and Passenger Focus have produced a study into how social, economic and technological changes might influence passenger transport

Personalised travel, sustainable choices and broader social changes including an ageing population are just some of the themes explored in innovative research into the future of transport published last week.

Bus and train operator Go Ahead Group teamed up with Passenger Focus to carry out the study into how potential social, economic and technological changes might influence passenger use of, and relationship with, transport. Flamingo, a global people insight consultancy, was commissioned to establish how our everyday patterns of living and working might change and what the consequences of those changes could be over 10-15 years.

David Brown, chief executive of Go Ahead commented: “We are committed to innovating to meet customers changing’ requirements in our bus and rail operations. For example, over 70,000 journeys are made every day on our smartcard, the key, and we have over 23,000 people following London Midland’s award winning Twitter feed.

“But it’s important that we also look ahead to understand the needs and expectations of our customers. We know passenger requirements will continue to evolve and this new research gives us valuable insights into how social, cultural and technological trends will affect the relationship between passengers and transport providers.”

The research sets out the wider context of future passenger requirements – insight gained through secondary research and expert roundtable discussions aimed at making connections between a variety of travel and transport issues. Those insights were translated into future passenger needs and implications, developed through expert interviews and themed workshops.

The research identified seven macro factors of social, economic and technological change. Those macro factors include the likely feminisation of society and the end of assumed affluence as well as five trends in how we will live, which include ‘seamless, always-on living’ and the ‘desire for filtering and customisation’ of information.

From these factors and themes, the research identified nine ‘future stories of travel’, including ‘useful mobility’, passengers’ ability to remain switched on, tuned in and productive whilst using public transport, and ‘collaborative travel’, where online, peer-to-peer travel advice is key.


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