Jun 14, 2016

Nearly a quarter of Burgos participants increase bus use

22 percent reported increasing public transport use after campaign

SmartMove participants in the Spanish town of Burgos changed their travel behavior significantly, with 22 percent reporting increasing their use of public transport following the campaign there.

From spring to fall of 2015, SmartMove engaged select Burgos residents in active mobility consultancies, a form of face-to-face marketing in which campaigners dispense tailored advice, maps and other information to help people shift from car use to public transport in their daily travel. A key focus was on “feeder transport networks” that link households to major train and bus lines.

In Burgos, SmartMove campaigners focused on two distinct groups: 250 workers who commute to an industrial area on the outskirts of town and 250 students at the local university. An additional 400 people were engaged in the campaign in so-called “active measures”.

Post-campaign interviews showed that the campaign made a big impression on those taking part:

  • 89 percent of respondents said they received information during the campaign of which they were previously unaware;
  • 42 percent reported feeling motivated to reduce their car use; and
  • 22 said they had actually increased their public transport usage.

The increased public transport use corresponded to an average shift of 2.6 car trips per week to public transport, or a reduction in CO2 emissions of 22 tonnes per year.

The Burgos campaign achieved its results quite efficiently. Uniquely among the SmartMove campaigns, Burgos’s targeted people who had taken part in previous mobility campaigns. Campaigners had a population of people disposed to taking part in such activities and, crucially, had their names and contact details in an existing database.

The Burgos campaign wrapped up quicker than the other SmartMove campaigns, and had netted 77 percent of the targeted number of participants in its first round of contacts.

Local project partner University of Burgos concluded that the SmartMove method is effective and that further reductions in car use and CO2 emissions could be achieved through an extension of the AMC to other areas of the city.