Survey shows Belgians think public transport is not efficient
Many Belgians deplore the inefficiency of public transport compared to other modes of transport. This is shown in a survey that was carried out in December 2019 at the request of the FPS Mobility and Transport.
A panel of 2 000 people representative of the population participated in the survey. Their destinations are poorly served by public transport and the private car is, therefore, perceived as much more flexible and efficient.
The survey aimed to understand what encourages or hinders people from using more environmentally modes of transport, but also to identify what needs to be worked on to get people to give up the private car.
Train too expensive
According to the survey, increasing the number of direct connections and improving compatibility between different public transport modes would encourage people to use them. The survey also shows that people have the impression that public transport is too expensive, especially the train. Punctuality is another important obstacle, mainly for people living in Flanders.
Women less positive
For women (51,7%), the cost of rail travel is a greater obstacle than for men (40,2%). In other areas, such as the distance between home and station, safety, accessibility, and comfort, women are also slightly less positive than men. These trends are also observed for the metro, tram, and bus (MTB). When it comes to MTB use, women are more receptive to ecological arguments than men.
However, people who regularly use this means of transport are more positive about its advantages than those who never use it. The issue of car parking also plays a role. The lack of parking places in stations discourages potential train users. But not having to worry about parking your car once you arrive encourages people to take the train, tram, or bus.
Better cycle infrastructure
As far as walking and cycling are concerned, the weather remains a major obstacle, as does the feeling of insecurity. Improving the infrastructure of roads, cycle paths, and trails so that users retain only the pleasant, healthy, and environmentally friendly aspects they attribute to these active modes of travel can stimulate cycling and walking.
The pleasure of cycling as a means of transport is slightly more pronounced among men (51,4%) than among women (43,1%).
Carpooling could also provide solutions to some of the mobility problems, but several obstacles remain to be overcome: lack of flexibility, the dependence of colleagues, constraints, and time lost in coordination.
In general, in Flanders and Wallonia, the car is considered a faster and more efficient means of transport than the other modes of transport. This is indicated by more than 60% of the respondents. While in Brussels it is only 51,9%.