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Understanding factors influencing public transport passengers' pre-travel information-seeking behaviour.

Yeboah, Godwin; Cottrill, Caitlin D.; Nelson, John D.; Corsar, David; Markovic, Milan; Edwards, Peter


Godwin Yeboah

Caitlin D. Cottrill

John D. Nelson

Milan Markovic

Peter Edwards


This paper investigates factors influencing public transport passengers’ pre-travel information-seeking behaviours in a British urban environment. Public transport traveller surveys were conducted to better understand the journey stages at which information was sought and the information sources used. A multivariate explanatory model of pre-travel information-seeking behaviour was developed using binomial logistic regression. Explanatory factors considered include socio-demographics, trip context, frequency of public transport use, information sources used, and smartphone ownership and use. Findings suggest that travel behaviour (5 + trips weekly, and less than 1 trip weekly), socio-demographics (unemployment/unknown employment), trip context (journey planning stages, mode of transport), and preferred information sources (Internet site, word-of-mouth, visits to travel shop/centre/library) were significant predictors of pre-travel information-seeking behaviours among surveyed travellers. While the final model found that bus users are significantly associated with the use of Internet sites as a source of pre-travel information, rail users rely significantly on a multiplicity of sources comprising Internet sites, word-of-mouth, and visits to a travel shop/centre/library. The final model suggests that metro (light rail) users tend not to seek pre-travel information. The odds of seeking pre-travel public transport information are 2.512 times greater for respondents who reported less than 1 trip per week as opposed to those who reported 5 + trips per week. These findings are relevant for passenger information strategies deployed by operators and authorities and can be used to caution against a “one size fits all” strategy for travel information service provision. Implications and suggestions for future research are discussed.


YEBOAH, G., COTTRILL, C.D., NELSON, J.D., CORSAR, D., MARKOVIC, M. and EDWARDS, P. 2019. Understanding factors influencing public transport passengers’ pre-travel information-seeking behaviour. Public transport [online], 11(1), pages 135-158. Available from:

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Apr 4, 2019
Online Publication Date Apr 12, 2019
Publication Date Jun 30, 2019
Deposit Date Jun 14, 2019
Publicly Available Date Jun 17, 2019
Journal Public Transport
Print ISSN 1866-749X
Electronic ISSN 1613-7159
Publisher Springer
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 11
Issue 1
Pages 135-158
Keywords Public transport; Pre-travel information; Information-seeking behaviour; Information sources; Journey planning stages
Public URL


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