Reports show that people will travel less by public transport after the pandemic. It requires changes in ticket solutions, the investigator believes. Vy and Ruter work with solutions.
– The monthly card has existed for 40-50 years without having been changed. While our travel habits have changed a lot. It is time to do something about the ticket solutions, says Kristine Wika Haraldsen.
She works as a researcher in mobility and urban transport in Asplan Viak and has looked at people’s public transport habits during the corona pandemic.
– What we have found, when we have asked people how they envision traveling by public transport after the corona pandemic, is a decrease in public transport of 10-15 percent. It is quite dramatic, says Haraldsen.
Afraid of infection
These investigations were made during the pandemic, so Haraldsen and his colleagues will conduct more investigations when the situation approaches normal. She still believes there will be good reason to believe that our collective habits will change in the future as well. There are several reasons for this.
– One is a home office, people have seen that it works well to work at home. People are not going to sit at home all the time, but a few days a week. It will do a lot with the total number of trips in a year. So the fact that people have become accustomed to home offices and digital meetings has a lot to say for public transport.
– People will be more concerned with infection and avoiding congestion in the future. Then it becomes important to avoid congestion for people to use public transport, says Haraldsen.
– Need a more flexible ticket
She therefore believes that today’s ticket schemes no longer cover people’s needs.
– We who work with public transport have long said that a ticket is needed between a single ticket and a monthly card. We need something for those who want to sit occasionally in the home office. Because when you do not know how much you will travel, monthly passes can be too expensive and not worth it. In addition, it works poorly with a single ticket for those who travel regularly as it becomes very expensive, she says.
At the same time, it is important that the current selection of departures remains.
– One must find a ticket solution that finances public transport, so that one can maintain the offer of frequent departures. If we are to achieve the political goals of more people traveling by public transport, we must have an attractive public transport service and tickets that are suitable for people.
Haraldsen has also asked people what they want. What they want is a flexible solution that fits with some time at work and some time in the home office.
– What they want is a ticket where you pay per trip, not a given period. So if you want to pay a starting fee and then pay only a little for each trip, it will both pay off for the traveler and secure income for the public transport companies, says Haraldsen.
Vy and Ruter tell VG that they have observed changed travel habits and that they are looking at changes in their ticket solutions.
– We are looking at opportunities to offer other ticket solutions as a result of people having changed travel needs, but we are not clear with what exactly it will be yet. So as of today, it is a season ticket or single tickets that apply, says Åge-Christoffer Lundby, communications manager at Vy.
Nor at Ruter will we see the changes in the coming months.
– We work intensively with a number of other players, especially in Viken, to find other solutions than today to adapt to a different public transport need. It is quite complicated to coordinate such a change across municipalities and companies, at the same time as we must find a solution that works for our customers and ensures a sound financing model. So a new solution will not be ready in the autumn, says Øystein Dahl Johansen, press officer at Ruter.