Research, offer alternatives and contribute to policy

The car is and will always be part of our lives. But there are many alternatives for getting from A to B. By public transport, for example. DTV Consultants wants to promote public transport in such a way that many motorists also choose to travel by train, bus, tram or metro. We do this by studying the present situation in the field of public transport, offering good alternatives and influencing behaviour.

The Netherlands is an interesting country in terms of public transport. The railway network is extensive, but at the same time not very flexible. The number of passengers using the Dutch railway service is increasing, but at the same time more people are getting into their cars. The government wants to promote public transport, but at the same time much time is lost as a result of the participative culture in the country. Everyone wants change, but at the same time no one dares taking real decisions. These contradictions make public transport exciting and challenging for DTV Consultants. Our activities are mainly focused on the traveller able and willing to choose between different modes of transport, i.e.: a motorist who sometimes takes the train or people who would use public transport if it was improved.

Data collection and advice
We conduct a great deal of research for public transport. For this research, we use the expertise of MEETt, a company specialised in data collection and linked to DTV Consultants. Through MEETt we have a large group of employees who count, survey and research. This data can then be used by DTV Consultants for pioneering research for government as well as the public transport triangle: franchise awarders, transport companies and travellers.

The fact that we conduct research for all the interested parties is one of our strengths. We have information at every level, which makes it easier to bring parties together. During our consultations, we do not sit opposite the other parties, but alongside. Through this warm business approach, we have good relationships with the franchise awarder, the transport company, the traveller and the coordinating local government, and we can provide them with good advice. In the field of data collection and research, we are already a big player. We want to be the same for consultancy.

For the coordinating government, DTV Consultants is involved in one of the most extensive public transport surveys in the Netherlands: the Public Transport client barometer. Up until 2012, we are working with Goudappel Coffeng to find out what the customer thinks about the transport on offer. This has been commissioned on an annual basis by the Knowledge Platform Traffic and Transport.
In order to improve the quality of public transport, we set up the Quality Explorer [Kwaliteitsverkenner] concept, in collaboration with XTNT. The core of this concept is that regular travellers assess a number of aspects relating to their bus journey and communicate them online. Also in The Hague, we are carrying out a quality assessment for the transport company HTM. Here too travellers check the quality of bus, tram or ‘Randstadrail’ (light rail) at given times. We have already carried out research for HTM, for example into the new Randstadrail. We also perform research into traveller origins and destinations for transport companies.

Appealing to emotions
Based on the results of this research, the quality of public transport can be improved. Only then can public transport become a good alternative for the car. But delivering good quality alone is not good enough. Travellers who are able and willing to choose between different modes of transport – often motorists – must be addressed in such a way that they choose public transport. The fact that this works has been proved by the European EMOTIONS project in which DTV Consultants was involved. For this project, we investigated the reasons why people buy cars. It appeared to have nothing to do with the quality of this mode of transport; it was all about emotion. The car industry appeals to the driver’s emotions. If public transport is to woo him out of the car, it must do the same, i.e. not compete on logic, but on emotion.

Together with the Dutch Railways (NS), we plan to put this into practice through the European project Trendy Travel by emphasising that travelling by train is healthy. On average, train travellers cycle for half an hour to get to the train. Dutch Railways is therefore appealing to the traveller indirectly. Their approach focuses on the client: what is good for him? It is not so much about the timetable, but about the traveller’s perception. If a client travels from A to B, he may want fast connections, a pleasant bus stop or guarded bicycle parking, while at other times he may want a comfortable seat, a relaxed atmosphere and time for a good book. Trendy Travel is an innovative project, which reflects our expertise. Because DTV Consultants has a good name with respect to innovation as well as, and particularly, public transport.

More information?

For further information
please contact
Willem Buijs
+31 (0)76 513 6600