Factors that make public transport systems attractive: a review of travel preferences and travel mode choices

Jessica Göransson & Henrik Andersson, European Transport Research Review, September 2023

Many regions worldwide are struggling to create a mode shift from private cars to more sustainable transport modes. While there are many reviews regarding travellers’ preferences and travel mode choices, there is a lack of an updated review that provides a comprehensive overview of the factors that make public transport systems attractive.

This review aims to fill the knowledge gap by offering insights into the factors influencing travel behaviour and the demand for public transport. It has two primary objectives:

  • Summarize general conclusions drawn from international literature reviews.
  • Present specific insights on the topic pertaining to the Nordic countries.

The findings show that reliability and frequency are important factors for creating an attractive public transport supply. However, there is only limited evidence regarding the impact of improvements in these attributes on public transport demand, so this needs more research. This review highlights the importance of understanding the underlying motivations for travel mode choice and provides recommendations on areas for further investigation to understand the attractiveness of public transport supply.

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