Public transport marketing: Experimental studies on the influence of different messages on attitudes and intentions

Research output: Contribution to conferencePoster


Public transport is an important part of the transition to a more sustainable future. The increasingly market-oriented public transport companies today market themselves with a wealth of messages in multiple channels such as direct mail, websites and apps. This communication is part of the influence that the (potential) traveler is exposed to, yet little research and testing is carried out in order to gauge how these messages influence attitudes and travel intentions. From research we know that the goals the traveler has, for example in terms of time, cost and convenience, also influences the traveler when he/she makes a decision about travelling in combination with external communication. Based on goal framing theory (GFT) on how different goals interact, this study presents results on how different types of marketing messages impact attitudes and intentions to travel using public transport. A number of experiments have been carried out together with a public transportation company where different messages have been randomly assigned to respondents, and attitudes and intentions have been assessed. The results show that depending on if messages use positive or negative framing concerning environmental issues, respondents react differently. Furthermore, the results show that different messages based on different goal frames increase and decrease the interest and intention for using public transportation. The results have clear implications for how public transportation actors can use different marketing messages in order to influence public perception of their brands and activities and thus help in the transition to a more environmentally sustainable transport system.


External organisations
  • University of Gothenburg
  • K2–The Swedish Knowledge Centre for Public Transport
Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Business Administration
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 2019 Jun
Publication categoryResearch
EventUITP Global Public Transport Summit 2019 - Stockholmsmässan, Stockholm, Sweden
Duration: 2019 Jun 92019 Jun 12


ConferenceUITP Global Public Transport Summit 2019
Abbreviated titleUITP Summit
Internet address