SEGMENTATION OF ACADEMIC COMMUNITY FOR THE PURPOSES OF MOBILITY PLAN DEVELOPMENT – CASE STUDY OF GDANSK UNIVERSITY OF TECHNOLOGY
Gdansk University of Technology (POLAND)
About this paper:
Conference name: 9th annual International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation
Dates: 14-16 November, 2016
Location: Seville, Spain
Abstract:There is a consensus among international academic community about the role that universities should play in shaping sustainable social transport behaviour, proved by numerous conferences and signed declarations, starting from Talloires Declaration in 1990. Universities have predisposed role to shape a new mobility culture postulated by the EU due to their educational function and the fact that by being large traffic generators they may have a significant impact on the city’s transport system. One of the signs of university authorities’ social responsibility is managing the mobility of academic community. Mobility plan (MP), if properly prepared, implemented and monitored, can be one of the most effective instruments for mobility management. MP is a package of measures aimed at a better use of existing transport infrastructure and the development of conscious and sustainable attitudes and transport behaviour of targeted audience.
Knowledge of the analysed community is essential to create foundation for the well-prepared MP. Target group(s) can be identified and most effective measures targeted only if there is an understanding social attitudes and behaviour. Market segmentation, widely used in marketing and often in other domains, is the method of partitioning a diverse population into homogeneous segments. Based on literature research it can be concluded that the method can be used also in transport, for dividing some community according to transport habits, attitudes and behaviour.
The paper presents the application of the method to the data gained when studying travel patterns of the employees of Gdansk University of Technology (GUT) - Polish university with 23,000 students and 2,700 employees. Within the initial phase of works on university’s MP transport survey was prepared and carried out among employees. First results revealed diversity in transport behaviour depending on their age, unit, work position, travel frequency and car availability. Taking into account this heterogeneity, market segmentation was used to divide the employees community into smaller subgroups. Based on the analyses the most essential criteria for the process were distinguished: car availability, the degree to which different transport means are used for commuting and readiness to change transport patterns.
The article present the results of segmentation obtained with the post-hoc method. A total of 5 segments were distinguished among GUT employees: absolute car dependent (24%), conscious car drivers (27%), promising car drivers (7%), car free commuters (16%) and sustainable car owners (26%). In-depth analysis gave a basis to aggregate the segments into 3 groups to which different measures should be targeted, aiming at: changing mentality (24%), changing transport behaviour (34%) or maintaining already sustainable transport habits (41%). Changing the proportion of particular segments and/or target groups can be one of the MP goals.
Based on the results of GUT research some dependences between affiliation to the segment and other describing variables were observed. However, further research is necessary and should be conducted also for other cases. If positively verified, the research can be a basis for the development of an universal method of dividing academic community into segments based on the available data or simple criteria. This would result in shortening MP preparation stage and targeting the measures properly with less effort.
Keywords: Market segmentation, transport behaviour, transportation patterns, mobility plans.