Psychology for sustainable shared mobility: An investigation of the use of private cars and carsharing services

Abstract: What are people’s travel patterns – both users and non-users of carsharing and private cars in European cities? What are the main psychological aspects of and motives for making a travel mode choice? This thesis aims to investigate the relationship of habits with attitudinal, normative and motivational aspects to understand the use of private cars and carsharing. Study I presents a classification of motives considered relevant when selecting a mode of transport. It examines the relative importance of driving habits, car attitudes, descriptive norms and motives for transport mode choices for commuting, shopping trips, child-related trips and leisure trips. Socio-demographic variables primarily predicted child-related and commuting trips. Leisure and shopping trips were mainly predicted by driving habits. Driving habit was a common and robust predictor among all trip purposes. In Study II, three mobility styles are identified among the users of carsharing through cluster analysis: a segment that uses different modes of transportation but has low environmental awareness, a segment highly dependent on private car use but that has high environmental awareness and a third segment which also has high environmental awareness and the highest percentage of car-free households. Two mobility styles were identified for the non-users: a segment less favourable to carsharing, with a medium level of environmental awareness and high dependence on private car use, and a segment with the lowest frequency of travel in general and the highest level of environmental awareness. Study III investigates the determinants of intention to use carsharing services using an integrated model of psychological predictors of travel behaviour, with further discussion about the analysis of invariance (configural, metric, scalar) and its relevance for comparisons between groups. The groups were classified as users and non-users of carsharing in Italy and Sweden. The latent variable control was the main predictor of intention to use carsharing, driving habits had stronger negative effects for users of carsharing than for non-users, subjective norms positively predicted the intention to use carsharing among all groups, trust was a predictor of intention only for the Italian groups and climate morality had a small negative effect on only the Swedish groups. Study IV indicates different preferences of carsharing business models depending on the trip purpose, with a trade-off between free-floating (FF) and round-trip station-based (RTSB) business models. The peer-to-peer (P2P) business model stood out for short holiday trips. Age, educational level, and income affected the probabilities of choosing different carsharing operators. When it comes to driving habits and trust in the service, users of FF and RTSB differ substantially. The results from this thesis can be used as support for governance aiming to promote sustainable transportation by fostering the use of carsharing.

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