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Acceptability and perceived feasibility of strategies to increase public transport use for physical activity gain - a mixed methods study
Methods: In a 2017 online survey, Tasmanian adults (n = 1091) rated the likelihood of increasing their bus use according to ten hypothetical strategies (fare-, incentives-, information- or infrastructure-based). Three focus groups and five interviews (n = 31) included infrequent bus users from the survey to determine reasons for strategy preferences and potential impact on PA.
Results: The top three strategies in the survey, with supporting rationale from qualitative data, were: provision of real-time bus information ("…because I can better plan…"); bus-only lanes ("…it just speeds the whole thing up…") and employee incentives/rewards for example bus fare credits ("…it really comes down to money…"). Full-time students favoured cost-saving strategies most and residents in outer suburbs favoured infrastructure-based strategies most. Qualitative data indicated that potential for enhanced certainty, efficiency or cost-savings drove strategy preferences and some strategies may lead to PA gain (eg through the location of Park and Ride facilities).
Conclusions: Real-time information, bus-only lanes and employee incentives/rewards appear most promising for increasing bus use in this population, but tailoring strategies may be required. Discrete PT enhancement strategies may result in PA gain. SO WHAT?: Increasing PA through transport behaviour has been underexplored. The potential for PA gain through greater PT use and discrete PT use enhancement strategies is an important public health consideration.
Summary: Public transport use can lead to physical activity (PA) gain. About 1091 adult Tasmanian survey respondents favoured three/ten strategies to increase bus use: real-time bus information, bus-only lanes and employee incentives/rewards. Follow-up focus groups/interviews (n = 31) indicated: potential for better certainty, efficiency or cost-savings drove strategy preferences; some strategies may facilitate PA gain.
Publication titleHealth Promotion Journal of Australia
Department/SchoolMenzies Institute for Medical Research
PublisherJohn Wiley & Sons Ltd.
Place of publicationUnited Kingdom
Rights statementCopyright 2019 Australian Health Promotion Association