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Households West Torrens

TravelSMART Households West Torrens project results.

The TravelSMART Households program engages people in travel behaviour change to influence a shift towards safer, greener and more active travel choices. This is achieved through directly contacting individual households within a specific target area.

Recently a TravelSMART Households project was offered to people residing in the West Torrens Council suburbs of Cowandilla, Hilton, Marleston, Mile End, Mile End South, Richmond, Thebarton, Torrensville, and West Richmond.

TravelSMART Representatives spoke directly with householders about their car use (or how they get around more generally) and worked collaboratively with them to identify ways they could reduce their car use – in a way that aligned with their values, improved their lifestyle in some way and benefitted them at a personal or household level.

Uncovering what matters to individuals is a fundamental principle of the program methodology. Some common benefits identified from reducing car use were:

  • saving money (27%)
  • improving health and fitness (24%)
  • more convenient travel (16%)
  • improving the environment (12%)
  • having more fun and enjoyment (9%)
  • saving time (6%)
  • being safer on the roads (4%)

While 32% of people had simply not thought about changing how they got around, TravelSMART Representatives assisted householders to overcome any real or perceived barriers that may have prevented them making a particular change they had identified. Each situation was regarded as unique, and resources or tools were provided to address specific barriers.

This project demonstrated that while some broad conclusions can be drawn, such as what motivates people or how they choose to reduce their car use, the reality of how that looks on an individual level is complex and varied. The project confirmed that taking a highly personalised conversation based approach is the most effective and efficient way in which to achieve genuine changes in travel behaviour.

This personalised approach also allowed us to understand how householders are already getting around, and the reasons underpinning their choices. This provides insights into what else might be possible. Not surprisingly, we learned that many householders were already travelling smart in a number of ways. To build on this, households (through the course of the conversation) were often able to identify an additional journey where they had the opportunity to reduce their car use further.

Common alternatives to always using the car were:

  • public transport use – 37%
  • walking – 30%
  • combining multiple trips into one journey, carpooling or using local shops and services – 15%
  • cycling – 14%
  • using technology to eliminate the need to travel (e.g. paying bills online or over the phone) – 2%

While the measurement of actual travel behaviour change was out of scope for this project, we are delighted to share a few of the stories from the householders who took part in the project, as shown adjacent.


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