UCL Department of Civil, Environmental and Geomatic Engineering


Evaluating public transport policies

Many national and regional transport authorities are promoting public transport as a way to reduce the environmental impacts of transport

1 September 2017

This research programme uses a holistic approach to foster greater understanding of why some public transport policies are more successful than others, and to identify the mechanisms through which changes in travel behaviour occur as a result. Using mixed methods, we are assessing the complex policy formulation and implementation processes, institutional roles and responsibilities, changes in travel satisfaction, attitudes and intentions amongst public transport users and non-users, and outcomes in terms of ridership and value for money.

As part of the programme, Dr Chien-Pang Liu assessed the Taiwanese National Road Public Transport Policy (NRPTP), launched in 2010. This policy, now in its second phase, aimed to increase bus usage by 5% per year. In the first four years of the Policy, bus usage increases were below target. The increase in use became smaller each successive year. By 2015 bus usage actually decreased compared with 2014. There was considerable variation in performance between municipalities. These variations resulted from factors including differences in political will, availability of skilled transport planners, and inflexibilities in how budgets could be spent. The research also found that the dense grid-like pattern of many Taiwanese cities, combined with poor regulation of motorcycle parking, encouraged motorcycle use to the detriment of buses.