Concessionary Travel - Customer Feedback Research Year Two Report
6. HOW AND WHY THE CARD IS USED
6.1 Respondents were asked about the type of travelling that they did when using the card, in order to develop an understanding of how and why the card was used.
Reasons for travelling
6.2 Respondents were asked about the type of travelling that they do when using the card. The responses given were very similar to those reported in 2013, with the most common type of travelling respondents reported doing when using their card was shopping (87%) followed by leisure (73%). Over half stated that they use the card for medical appointments (55%), for visiting friends and family (55%) or just to get out (53%). In terms of the main reason for using the card, again shopping was the most popular response (51%), followed by leisure (24%) and just to get out (7%).
Base: use their card for bus travel, n=2803
6.3 There was, unsurprisingly, a significantly lower proportion of those aged over 65 using their card for work purposes, with just over one in twenty respondents aged under 65 (12%) stating that they used their card for work purposes compared to just 4% of those aged over 65.
6.4 Analysis by card type indicated that those with disabled or visually impaired cards were more likely use their card for medical appointments (16% compared to 5% of 60+ card holder). They were also more likely to use their card most frequently for accessing support services (4%) or education (3%) than 60+ card holders.
6.5 Card holders with the 60+ card were more likely to use the card most often for social and leisure purposes with 86% stating that they use their card most often for shopping, leisure, visiting friends and family or day trips / holidays. This is compared to 60% of disabled or visually impaired card holders.
6.6 Focus group participants used their NEC for a number of different types of journeys. Typical reasons for travel included shopping, visiting friends and family, as well as attending hospital or medical appointments. Others commented that the NEC was often used for convenience. This was particularly true if travelling into town or city centres. Participants noted that the bus was often quicker and less hassle than trying to negotiate traffic, or find a parking space in the city, or at hospitals.
"It depends on the time of day of the appointment, because it can be useless to try and take the car (to hospital)."
(Male, Companion Card holder)
Change in journey patterns due to concessionary scheme
6.7 Almost half of respondents (48%) stated that they make journeys now using their card that they would not have made if they did not have their concessionary travel card. In the main, these are social journeys which involve day trips / visiting friends and relatives (44%).
|Q19 Can you describe what sort of journeys you make that you would not make if you did not have your concessionary travel card?|
|Base: use card for journeys that would not have made if did not have card, n=1355||%|
|Day trips/ visiting friends and relatives||44%|
|Shopping trips/ get into town more||27%|
|Longer distance journeys/ can go further afield||13%|
|Leisure purposes/ club/ gym etc||11%|
|All journeys/ a lot of them||10%|
|To get out and about more||9%|
|Would be too expensive otherwise/ wouldn't have been able to afford to go out as much||9%|
|Doctors/ pharmacy/ hospital appointments||3%|
6.8 Thinking of all the journeys respondents make using the card, just 23% stated that they would have made all of these journeys anyway. As such, 77% of respondents are making some additional journeys that they would not have done if the concessionary travel scheme had not existed. Indeed, almost one third (32%) would have made either none or very few of these journeys.
Base: use card for bus travel, n=2803
6.9 In order to identify whether the concessionary scheme was encouraging a modal shift, respondents who stated that they would have made all, some or most of the journeys anyway were asked how they would have made these journeys. Whilst over half of respondents (58%) stated they would have made most of the journeys by bus, 34% stated that they would have made most of the journeys by car indicating that a significant proportion of respondents are encouraged to use the bus as opposed to car due to the concessionary travel scheme.
6.10 This shift was most likely to be encouraged in rural areas where, for example in accessible rural areas, 43% stated that they would have previously made their journeys by car and in remote rural areas where 45% stated that they would have made these journeys by car.
6.11 This finding was supported in the qualitative research where it was found that people were now using the bus more than before they had a card. There were some examples of modal shift. This included people who had never used the bus before having their card who now used it frequently, and those who chose the bus over alternative forms of transport.
"Before I got the card I was maybe on a bus once a fortnight - now I'm on a bus every day...."
(Male, older person's group)
6.12 In comparison to year one, participants in this year's focus groups had used their NEC to travel further distances. Older participants in particular spoke of using their NEC for day trips around Scotland. Journeys which they may not previously have made or would have made using the car.
"We've been to Oban and Fort William - it's beautiful and my husband said he'd never seen so much scenery because he was always driving and paying attention to the road."
(Female, older person's group)
Frequency of travel
6.13 With regards to the frequency of travel, almost half of respondents (44%) travelled by bus at least 4 times per week.
Base: use card for bus travel, n=2803
6.14 Analysis by area indicates that those who live in the Highlands and Islands area were significantly less likely to use their card on a weekly basis than other areas (44% used weekly). Respondents in the South East and Strathclyde areas were most likely to travel by bus more frequently than in other areas with 25% and 24% respectively stating that they use their card more than 7 times per week.
6.15 Disabled or visually impaired card holders were more likely to travel by bus more frequently with 57% travelling by bus using their card 4 or more times per week compared to 42% of 60+ card holders.
6.16 Participants in almost all focus groups reported that they used their NEC very frequently. The exceptions to this were when participants were still driving and used their NEC for specific journeys - most notably when parking at their destination was an issue.
6.17 However, for the group of participants based in a rural area, there was an issue with the frequency of the buses, which determined when and how often they could travel. Participants reported that some buses were every two hours, with the last bus of the day at 6pm. This restricted their ability to travel and some participants referred to the last bus as their "curfew".
"You can't go out at night because the last bus is at 6pm."
(Female, rural group)
6.18 When asked about the sorts of distances normally travelled varied when using the card, 32% said they typically travel less than 5 miles, 20% said between 5 and 10 miles, 18% said 10 to 25 miles and 14% said more than 25 miles.
6.19 Analysis by area revealed significant differences in the distance travelled with respondents who lived in Highlands and Islands area were most likely to use their card for longer distances of 50 miles or over (26%). This is compared to the Strathclyde where 53% used their card to travel less than 10 miles and just 3% to travel distances of 50 miles or over.
|Q22 What sort of distance do you normally travel when using your card by transport area|
|Overall||Shetland||North East||Highlands and Islands||Tayside and Central||Strathclyde||South West||South East|
|Base: use card for bus travel||2803||17||231||236||338||1088||80||813|
|Under 1 mile||2%||-||1%||1%||1%||2%||-||2%|
|1 to under 2 miles||8%||-||7%||3%||14%||7%||1%||9%|
|2 to under 5 miles||22%||18%||18%||17%||32%||22%||13%||20%|
|5 to under 10 miles||20%||12%||7%||14%||16%||22%||19%||24%|
|10 to under 25 miles||18%||29%||23%||23%||22%||17%||40%||12%|
|25 to under 50 miles||8%||18%||23%||9%||6%||7%||13%||6%|
|50 miles and over||6%||18%||10%||26%||5%||3%||11%||1%|
|No normal distance of travel/ varies||11%||-||2%||6%||5%||12%||4%||17%|
|Don't know/ can't remember||7%||6%||7%||2%||0%||8%||-||11%|
6.20 Respondents living in urban areas were significantly more likely to use their card to travel shorter distances with 41% of respondents in large urban areas reporting that they usually travel distances of less than 5 miles using their card. This is compared to respondents in remote rural areas where 48% reported usually using their card for distances of over 25 miles.
Seasonality of travel
6.21 Almost half of respondents (47%) stated that there were times of the year that they travelled using their card more regularly than others. Most commonly, respondents stated summer time (59%) or during winter/ Christmas time (40%).
6.22 The main reason for travelling using their card was identified as being for shopping or leisure purposes. This was the case for all cardholders, although the research did reveal that those who held disabled or visual cards were more likely to use their cards to travel for medical appointments, support or education purposes.
6.23 There was significant evidence of additional journeys being made that would not have been made in the absence of the card. In particular, these additional journeys were social and leisure journeys. Even where respondents stated that they would have made the majority of the journeys that they made using the card anyway, there was evidence of a modal shift with respondents more likely to take the bus than drive, than would have previously been the case.
6.24 Analysis of how the card was used showed significant differences in relation to where the respondent lived. For example, those living in more rural areas, in particular in the Highlands and Islands area, were significantly more likely to use their card to travel longer distances and less likely to use their card as frequently as in other areas. This was in comparison to those living in the Strathclyde and South East areas who were most likely to travel shorter distances and use their card more frequently.