Journey planner usage analysis

Sharon Biermann, Tristan Reed

Research output: Book/ReportOther output


Journey planner applications are commonly available through digital systems such as websites, smartphones, tablets, watches and car-based information systems. While available on the web for many years, the ubiquity of internet-connected smartphones has meant that their timely use has only become apparent in the last few years. Combined with new sensor data, this has meant that transport consumers are now able to access ‘up to the minute’ data regarding a journey they are about to undertake shortly before they do so and as such may be influenced in their mode choice by the ability to access more accurate information for their particular journey – such as timing and cost, alongside greater information about the physical infrastructure used throughout the journey, like cycle paths or speed limits.
As such, there was a desire to understand whether the use of journey planners
throughout Perth contributed to a shift towards or away from shared (such as public transport) or active (such as cycling and walking) transport modes, or whether it reinforced existing mode preferences. This first meant that the level of journey planner use had to be ascertained before determining whether feature and information provision could help precipitate a movement towards said shared or active modes.
Firstly, a literature review was undertaken to ascertain survey techniques for travel
behaviour and mobile app usage. This led to the use of a stated preference-style
survey where respondents described what they had done with respect to transport and journey planner usage and what their preferences were in the future.
Next, a market analysis of journey planning applications was undertaken of
approximately 40 apps and websites to understand what features they provided and which apps provided which features.
A survey was then undertaken of 402 Perth residents over the age of 18, which was considered representative when considering the parameters of the sample, which ere considered ‘standard’ for a survey of this scope. Due to the current COVID-19 pandemic, the scope of the survey was extended to also understand how travel behaviour had changed due to the pandemic.
The survey found that journey planner use was quite widespread, with a diversity of apps being popular but primarily Google Maps and the Transperth app being used by the largest number of respondents. While the traditional routing and navigation features were most popular, there was also interest in live data and other new forms of information as detailed above. Unfortunately, while there was great interest in new and current features, most respondents that used journey planners only used them for new journeys and many respondents were not intending to change their behaviour despite new and improved features and information.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationAustralia
PublisherPlanning and Transport Research Centre, University of Western Australia
Number of pages107
Publication statusPublished - 21 Oct 2020


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