Transport, Psychology and Human Behaviour

Transport, Psychology and Human Behaviour

Two people sitting outside Flinders Street Station, Victoria

ITS (Monash) has specialised in research on the interface between psychology, human behaviour and the transport system.

This field of research examines the social and psychological impact of the transport system on individuals and society.

It also recognises that human behaviour, preferences and attitudes can have a critical impact on the use of our transport system.

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Current Research Activities

The Changing Mobility of the Millennial Generation

In much of the developed world, young adults are delaying car licensure and reducing their reliance on the car. This unprecedented change is one of the most significant emerging trends in transport research and potentially marks the greatest shift in mobility since the invention of the car. This project uses multiple methods to understand why millennials are turning their back on the car and how we can support these sustainable travel choices into the future.  Beginning in 2016 this project will be supported through a longitudinal panel survey of Australian millennials as part of a Discovery Early Career Research Award (DECRA).

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Past Research Activities

Understanding the Psychology of Fare Evasion

The Public Transport Research Group at ITS (Monash) undertook a major study of fare evasion behaviours for Public Transport Victoria.  This aimed to understand the psychology behind fare evasion in Melbourne and to provide actionable recommendations to improve fare compliance.  The most significant breakthrough from this research was that most revenue loss comes from a small group of ‘recidivist’ fare evaders who almost always fare evade.  Public Transport Victoria implemented several policy changes in response to this research which resulted in the lowest reported the lowest fare evasion rates they have ever measured, saving the authority some $AUD 45M each year.   Follow up research undertaken by PTRG in London, Paris, Toronto, New York, Boston, Sydney, Brisbane and Perth identified that all these cities had the same problem of recidivism as that identified in Melbourne.  Transport for New South Wales also adopted recommendations from the research in Sydney and have reported savings of $60M p.a. resulting from the research.

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