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Research is very crucial before making any conclusions or taking a step of action to meet certain objectives. The paper presents the opinions given by commuters and university students having their own cars in a bid to investigate why commuters chose to commute while others chose to use their cars to school and work place. To garner the information, the researchers employed interviewers and questionnaires.
Enough data was gathered on opinions and views of the target audiences. The increased use of private vehicles poses environmental challenges because of the gas they emit in the environment. To reduce the effects that come with tail-gas emission from the vehicles such as health complications and climate changes, stringent measures are required. Global warming is one of the effects that result from emissions of the gases.
Many target audiences cited various reasons that made them use private cars as opposed to public transport. These included, time saving, peer influence, delays caused by public transport, inadequate time, and lack of enough sitting spaces in buses. There are few public transport buses to match the high population. The campaign was formulated after gathering enough data on commuting in Sydney.
The campaign strategy included the use of different ways to trigger a change of behaviour. This included the use of posters, billboards, name cards, and calendars. These strategies helped to trigger change in behaviours as the number of private cars reduced.
This was evidenced through the reduction of the number of car in the car parks. The campaign strategy can be improved to ensure that many people change their behaviours to use public means in their transportation.
The design project research seeks to find out why students and commuters prefer using their private cars for commuting instead of using public transport. The effect of private cars is the main aim of the study. This research is important because it will help to identify various problems besides enhancing the understanding of behaviours and feelings of the target audience.
Furthermore, this research project will be helpful in coming up with affable measures to trigger behaviour change among the concerned audience. This campaign targets a sub-cultural group within Sydney: university students and commuters who have personal cars. This subgroup often prefers using their private cars to commute to their places of work, as well as to the university.
Therefore, this research seeks to find out the reasons and implication of the choices. It further seeks to test whether they can change from using their private cars. The key message to the target audience is to find out why this subgroup prefers using their private cars instead of the public means. The major reason for carrying out this research is to find amicable solutions to the problems the target audience goes through.
The campaigns aim to respond to the increased cases of environmental pollution caused by the increased level of gas emissions resulting from the high usage of private cars. According to Suthanaya, preference to use either private means or a public means is related to the distance from the suburb to the central business district (28).
Many people who live near Sydney or within a radius of 20 Km from the central business district would prefer to use public means of transportation, as opposed to those living far from their places of work (Suthanaya 28). Therefore, this research project is useful, as it seeks to provide an insight on why commuters and students prefer to use their private car.
The campaign aims at changing this perceptions and making students and commuters use public transports to help reduce the effects of environmental pollution. Therefore, the focus of the research remains intact regardless of the study findings carried out sometimes in 2011.
It is important since it will help me to find the problem of this target group besides helping in setting or designing affable campaign initiatives that are able to trigger positive changes in the behaviour and attitude of the target group.
Revised Research Strategy
To obtain good results, the research strategy employed included interviews and questionnaires. Research questions were administered to various respondents in Sydney. However, before carrying out the interviews and or administering the questionnaires, a plan was created, which identified the location of the study (Manzini 3). A population, which consisted of commuters and University students was also identified.
A simple random sample was done to get the required sample population. Questionnaires were administered to various students who used their vehicles in different universities. Other questionnaires were given to commuters working in various organisations that were selected randomly. Questions were then formulated to guide the research study (Duc, Jalaludin, and Morgan 289). Examples of questions included
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- Why do you use private cars as opposed to public buses?
- Why do you use your car when going to your place of work or to school?
- Why would you spend a huge amount of money to buy gas instead of using public transport that is cheaper?
The questions aimed at finding out the reasons why this group of audience preferred using their cars instead of public transport. Other subsidiary questions were also relevant. These included:
- Can you change or switch to public transport?
- What do you think contributes to environmental pollution?
- Is your car environmental-friendly?
- How many times do you use your car to commute on a weekly basis? How do you perceive public transport?
Many questions were answered. In general, respondents cited lack of reliability of public buses for their continued and persistence use of private cars. The high population made it very difficult for them to wait at the bus stop. The presence of few available buses was a factor that made them wait for as long as 30 minutes. Therefore, they lost a lot of time on roads, a case that forced them to use private means.
Furthermore, many said that they understood the effects of gas emissions but could not leave their cars at home. They were wiling to use public transport if their services were improved. Some of the questions were not answered sufficiently such as the reason behind their option to spend more money buying gas and maintaining their cars instead of using the public transport.
Even though the response was low, the reason was likely to be their level of income. Many commuters are middle-income earners.
Therefore, they had the capability of buying cars. Likewise, most students are employed as part-time workers while others come from well-to-do families and hence their ability to access or buy cars. In the research, no change was experienced. The questions were enough to cover the area well as required.
Early Phase Research Evaluation
In the early phase of the research, the bulk of the research was surveys that included field surveys. Interviews and questionnaires were also used to solicit information from various target audience. During this stage, questioners were given to a sample of students who used their private cars to report to the university.
From the research, students provided different reasons why they chose to drive than using public means to go to school and work. Using public means is hectic because of the many people who scramble for spaces in buses. People are forced to stand due to inadequate seats.
The time it takes to wait for a train or a public bus is long. Other students and commuters preferred driving themselves to their places of work and school because it was more convenient as opposed to waiting for a bus. Even though it was sometimes expensive to drive one’s own car compared to using public transport, they could not use public transport.
Others drove because their colleagues always came to their work place and at school with their cars. Peer influence made some of the students use private cars. Feeling a sense of proud also contributed to the use of private cars.
Therefore, this study helped me understand various problems and issues that led students and commuter to use their private cars hence giving me a hint on the best strategy to use in my campaign to trigger behaviour change. The exercise further acquainted me with skills and knowledge in research. I became aware of how to carry out interviews and questionnaires.
It also helped me gain confidence and skills on how to carry out a campaign to compel the audience to use public transport for the good of the society. Various research methods are used to find out solutions to various problems. These include observation, questionnaires, and interviews among others. They have strengths and weaknesses.
According to Crouch and Jane, observation, as a research strategy, allows a researcher to observe or engage the field to find out what is happening in a given situation (‘Methods in Ethnographic Research’ 92). The researcher immerses himself in the research setting borrowing from the past and the present to have multiple perspectives on a given circumstance (Pruitt and Jonathan 312).
Some of the strengths of observation research strategy include its practicability. The researcher can experience a first-hand information. The weaknesses include the possible changing of behaviours by the participants because of the perception that they are being observed (Terrell 254).
The results are based on individual judgment: they are not objective. A questionnaire is yet another research method that is used to solicit information. Advantages of using questionnaires include its being less expensive and easiness of administering. The weaknesses of using questionnaires include the probability of leaving questions unanswered because they require more time (Hunter 11).
Interviews have some strengths. One of the strengths is that it allows the interviewer to ask many questions to get responses on the spot (Shove 6). Many questions may be asked and answered.
The emotional reactions of an individual are manifested, which help the interviewer to come to constructive conclusions. Weaknesses include the much time required to prepare questions are well structured to avoid misunderstanding. It also requires a lot of time, which may affect the process.
Design Project Prototype Test
The simple research exercises that I used to test my strategic design/campaign with my intended audience included field surveys and websites. To ensure that my campaign was successful, I used multiplicity of methods and strategies to convey my message. The aim of the campaign was to make the commuters and university students use public transport to conserve the environment.
One of the procedures used included the use of posters. Poster were placed on various billboards and in busses containing messages that appealed to commuters to use public means as opposed to private means. The consequences of using private means were also provided, which included environmental pollution that could cause global warming and other health effects.
I also used name cards, which had information about the benefit of using public means as opposed to private means. It contained a logo and at the back and some information about the public transport, which was visible. I also used a special calendar that I mailed to the target audience. It was aimed at recording the number of times the target audience used private transport as well as public transport.
The major reason for doing this was to reach many target audiences to influence them use public transport as opposed to private means. Private cars users did so because of various reasons. They indicated that they could change (Crouch and Jane ‘What do Designers and Researchers Do? 23). For instance, some used private cars because of peer influence and time. However, they could adjust.
Hence, the campaign aimed at triggering behaviour change to conserve the environment. This experience made me learn new things especially how to stage a campaign that can trigger behaviour change. I learnt how people react to certain stimuli or information that affects them. Through the campaign, many people changed their perceptions about private cars by giving environmental issues a second thought.
The campaign achieved its mission. The strategy employed contributed a lot in attainment of the mission. The use of printed photographs that were placed in strategic locations such as bus stations helped to convey the message to the target audience. The use of calendars and name cards further played a crucial role in the campaign. The cards and calendars were mailed to the target audiences in the various places.
They helped to pass the message well. The message was concise and to the point thus making it easy to understand. The target audiences were educated and professionals, as they understood the effects of the tail-gas emissions. This boosted the campaign. The challenge the campaign faced was the negative attitude the target audience had already formed in their minds.
Many agreed that it was cheaper to use public transport as opposed to private means. However, poor public means made them use private. In general, the campaign was a success. The campaign incorporated visuals, which added weight in the campaign. Various pictures and photographs placed in different places showed how environment was being polluted through tail-gas emissions that came out of cars.
The pictures played a role in triggering behaviour change (Rose 15). Based on the feedback received, the power of the strategy and visuals was evident. A good number of university students and other commuters have begun using public means of transport.
This is evidenced from the reduction in number of vehicles in parking areas. However, this campaign is increasing the number of public vehicles on the roads. An increase of these public buses will also cause negative impacts on the environment. Hence, a plan B is required to ensure sustainability in the conservation of the environment.
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